The following press release from the Virginia House Democratic Caucus highlights yet another outrageously anti-environment move by Virginia Republicans – the party of polluters and a ruined planet.
Senate Republicans Pass House GOP Bill Preventing Climate Change Mitigation
Richmond (February 13, 2019) – Today, with a party line 21-19 vote, Senate Republicans passed a bill to bar the Governor or any state agency from participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), without a two-thirds majority vote from each legislative chamber. Currently, nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participate in the market-based carbon cap-and-trade program.
HB 2611 also passed the House of Delegates on a party-line vote of 51-48 earlier this year.
During House debate, Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington) stated, “Virginia is ground zero for sea level rise. This is a climate crisis, with consistent floods in every corner of the state especially on the coast… RGGI would help Virginia by funding flooding solutions and improving economic development in every corner of the Commonwealth.”
“By passing this bill, Republicans have made their position on climate change clear,” said Delegate Cheryl Turpin (D-Virginia Beach). “We have a responsibility to fight for the best interests of all Virginians and despite this disappointing setback, we will continue working to move our Commonwealth forward.”
HB2611 (2019) is nearly identical to HB1270 (2018), which was vetoed by the Governor. The only difference between the two bills is that the 2019 bill would require a 2/3 vote by the House and Senate in order to join RGGI. The vetoed 2018 bill would have required a majority vote by the House and Senate in order to join RGGI.