RICHMOND, Virginia – Today, the Virginia General Assembly voted down two critical amendments offered by Governor Ralph Northam in the state budget.
Amendments 34 and 38 remove language from the budget that targets interstate climate compacts, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI).
Amendment 34 strikes language in Budget Item 4-2.02 that restricts the use of revenues derived from RGGI or TCI by requiring that funds be deposited in the state’s general fund, and giving the General Assembly control over how those funds are spent.
Amendment 38 strikes language in Budget Item 4-5.11 that prohibits membership in RGGI without General Assembly approval by restricting the use of appropriated funds to support membership or participation in any climate change compacts.
These amendments are critical to Virginia’s progress on climate solutions. Governor Northam now has 30 days to veto this language in the budget, restore Virginia’s ability to participate in RGGI and TCI, and put Virginia back on the path to act on climate.
In response, Kate Addleson, Director of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, released the following statement.
“This budget threatens to undermine Virginia’s most significant climate protection program to date, putting the health of our communities and environment at risk.
“Governor Northam must put a stop to the obstructionist climate deniers who put politics over people, and use his veto pen to restore Virginia’s ability to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Transportation Climate Initiative.
“We are on the threshold of Virginia taking an essential first step to limit carbon pollution from power plants. “
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.