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A committee of the Virginia Senate on Tuesday defeated a invoice backed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) that will withdraw the state from a regional carbon-trading initiative.

The Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Pure Assets Committee voted down Senate Invoice 1001 in a celebration line 8-6 vote. The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Richard Stuart (R), would repeal the state Clear Vitality and Flood Preparedness Act, which entered Virginia into the Regional Greenhouse Fuel Initiative (RGGI), an interstate program that mandates that energy vegetation purchase credit for his or her carbon emissions. The initiative returns the proceeds of the auctions of the credit to the state.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont are additionally members of the initiative, with Pennsylvania making an attempt to hitch final yr although court docket challenges are nonetheless pending. Virginia joined in 2020 below Youngkin’s predecessor, Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

Youngkin has vowed to drag the state from the RGGI since his election in 2021, blaming it for charge will increase by the state utility, Dominion Vitality.

The state Senate’s Democratic majority has countered that withdrawal would require a vote by your complete Common Meeting, simply as coming into the initiative did.

“Senate Democrats refused to supply rapid aid to Virginians from this regressive tax which doesn’t do something to incentivize the discount of air pollution,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter stated in a press release on Wednesday. “Regardless, Virginians will see a decrease power invoice in due time as a result of we’re withdrawing from RGGI via a regulatory course of.”

Final yr, Youngkin signed an government order calling on the state Air Air pollution Management Board to contemplate RGGI withdrawal. The board voted to depart 4-1, with two abstentions, in December.

“We’re grateful to our champions within the Senate for doing the fitting factor for Virginians and local weather motion by rejecting this misguided repeal effort, but additionally know our work isn’t over,” Michael City, government director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, stated in a press release on Wednesday. “Now we have to proceed to defend this program from the Youngkin Administration’s ongoing assaults as they search to override the legislative course of and put polluters forward of what’s greatest for our state.”

Up to date at 11:32 a.m.

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