May 18, 2022 News & Press Releases

Governor Youngkin Ramps Up Anti-Environment Agenda

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Attempts to set the groundwork to leave RGGI

Appoints anti-environment cronies to Air Pollution Board

Richmond, VA – In the past several days, Governor Youngkin has ramped up his anti-environment crusade. 

This past Saturday, Youngkin announced his appointments to the Air Pollution Control Board, many of whom are riddled with conflicts of interest, including a former coal lobbyist and anti-renewable energy operative. 

This comes after Youngkin released a partisan report, drafted by former Trump EPA secretary Andrew Wheeler, to set the groundwork to remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  Since taking office, Governor Youngkin has consistently ignored Virginians' interest in protecting our environment and instead continued pushing his personal anti-environment agenda. 

Youngkin's four new appointees to the Air Pollution Control Board point to an anti-environment agenda and raise legal concerns that Governor Youngkin violated Virginia’s conflict of interests laws.

These appointees will undoubtedly launch attacks on Virginia’s environment and our membership to the RGGI. It’s important to note that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a crucial program for Virginia that has been proven to reverse the negative effects of climate change, protect and improve the health of our children, and save Virginia families money on their energy bills. 

Virginians also overwhelmingly support RGGI and measures aimed at protecting our environment. A recent poll showed that Virginians support the state’s membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative by a margin of 67% to 26%. There’s no question that Virginians want to protect our environment and address the pressing issue of climate change. One thing is clear: Governor Youngkin’s attempts to withdraw from the RGGI are further examples of his and his far-right cronies being out of touch with Virginians. 

“The Democratic Party is the only party in Virginia dedicated to tackling the worsening effects of climate change, which is causing major flooding in our communities, polluting our air and waters and putting our future at risk,” said DPVA spokesperson Gianni Snidle. “Since Governor Youngkin has taken office, Republicans have launched attack after attack on our environment. Virginia Democrats will not budge when it comes to protecting our environment and combating the effects of climate change. We will ensure that these anti-environment appointees are held accountable and that Virginia will remain in the RGGI for our children's futures.”