Virginia’s New Governor Moves to Undo Cap and Trade “Suicide Pact”

Virginia’s New Governor Moves to Undo Cap and Trade “Suicide Pact”

February 15, 2022

Many political pundits were surprised when Republican Glenn Younkin won the governorship in the blue state of Virginia last November. But Governor Youngkin managed to capture the attention of Virginia voters by speaking relentlessly about the challenges impacting Virginians, including energy prices. Now, he is making good on his campaign promises.

Governor Youngkin recently announced he would move forward in trying to remove Virginia from a cap-and-trade accord with ten other states. In 2020, Virginia’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly passed a law authorizing then-Governor Ralph Northam to join this pact, which places a cap on CO2 emissions from power plants. If power generators exceed the cap, they are required to buy permits with these states and they can use the profits on climate programs. But The Wall Street Journal editorial page succinctly laid out the problem with the program:

This is an energy suicide pact. States agree to raise their energy prices so none has a competitive economic advantage. Liberals note that electric prices in the Northeast fell 5.7% during the pact’s first nine years. But that’s because natural-gas prices plunged and offset compliance costs. Electric rates are now rising in tandem with gas prices… Dominion Energy, the state’s largest utility, recently estimated the pact would cost Virginia rate payers between $1 billion and $1.2 billion over the next four years.

At a time when Virginia families are struggling with inflation, why would many Democrats in Richmond be fighting to make electricity prices even higher? Sadly, this is the sort of fealty to environmental extremism that defies common-sense, and if Democrats continue to embrace it, there will likely be more state governments turning red this November.