Update: Lawsuit Over Virginia’s Removal from Carbon Market
February 8, 2024
A lawsuit appealing Virginia’s removal from a regional carbon market will be allowed to proceed, a court ruled.
The Circuit Court of Floyd County affirmed that the Association of Energy Conservation Professionals has standing to challenge the state’s decision to leave the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The program, made up of 11 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, makes power plants of a certain size buy allowances for their carbon dioxide emissions. Those allowances then get sold at quarterly auctions, which generate revenue for the participating states.
Virginia lawmakers voted to join RGGI in 2020 under Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, and the state started participating in auctions the following year.
The Commonwealth has earned more than $827 million from the proceeds, which are then used to fund local energy efficiency and flood preparedness programs.
Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin sought to remove Virginia from the market when he took office, citing increased energy costs for consumers from a Dominion Energy surcharge recouping the utility’s costs of complying.
The State Air Pollution Control Board opted to withdraw the state from RGGI last year, which prompted the ongoing lawsuit…