Youngkin’s partisan report on RGGI shows he’s more interested in playing political games than producing results for Virginians

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Lee Francis | Deputy Director
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
(804) 225-1902 |


RICHMOND – Yesterday, Governor Youngkin unveiled a skewed report on Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in an attempt to provide political cover for his unconstitutional efforts to side-step the General Assembly and remove Virginia from this valuable program.

In response to this report, Michael Town, executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, issued the following statement:

“Governor Youngkin continues to play partisan games instead of addressing serious issues here in Virginia. It’s clear that in doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry and big polluters, Youngkin and his coal lobbyist advisor Andrew Wheeler are out of touch with voters in the Commonwealth, who by wide margins, recognize the impact climate change is having on our day-to-day lives and support efforts to address this crisis, including our membership in RGGI. This program works, and is already producing tangible results for Virginians, by protecting vulnerable communities from climate change-driven flooding and sea level rise, and by helping reduce energy burdens for our most vulnerable citizens, all while cutting harmful pollution that threatens our health and puts us at even more risk. If Youngkin wants to continue playing games with climate action and environment protection, he does so at the disservice of each and every Virginian that calls this state home.”

According to the Acadia Center, since RGGI went into effect in 2009, carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in RGGI states have fallen by 47 percent, outpacing the rest of the country by 90 percent, demonstrating that a business-as-usual approach does not result in any meaningful cuts in emissions. Meanwhile, RGGI states have generated $4.7 billion from the sale of emissions allowances, the majority of which has been invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Consumers have also benefited: electricity prices in RGGI states have fallen by 5.7 percent, as prices have increased in the rest of the country by 8.6 percent, and participating states have seen billions of dollars of public health benefits. Due to the program’s clear success, there are 57 national or subnational carbon pricing programs in place, many of them drawing on lessons learned from RGGI.

About us:
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters serves as the political voice of the state’s conservation community, working to make sure Virginia’s elected officials recognize that our natural heritage is an environmental and economic treasure for all. Virginia LCV works with conservation leaders across Virginia and strives for a conservation majority in state government. We secure good public policies on the state level and hold public officials accountable for their positions on environmental issues. For more information, visit