Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin announced his intention to make energy more affordable for Virginians by withdrawing Virginia from the controversial 11-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. 

He recently told the Hampton Roads Chambers of Commerce he’ll remove Virginia from the initiative by executive action once he enters office in January. 

“RGGI describes itself as a regional market for carbon, but it is really a carbon tax that is fully passed on to ratepayers. It’s a bad deal for Virginians. It’s a bad deal for Virginia businesses,” Youngkin said. “I promised to lower the cost of living in Virginia, and this is just the beginning.” 

On the merits, Youngkin is correct. A timely withdrawal from this flawed carbon market, which isn’t inherently market-based, will benefit all Virginians given its vast shortcomings.

Youngkin’s critics allege he’ll upend environmental policy. But he’s on-record pledging to pursue practical all-of-the-above energy policies, coastal resiliency, and fight sea-level rise and flooding. 

Virginia shouldn’t rely on RGGI membership to achieve its emissions goals. Instead, our state can continue to innovate and develop technology — including carbon capture — without embracing more burdensome taxes and regulations. 

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