We’re All In The Same Boat When It Comes to Climate Change

Currently here in Virginia, we are using a program, the RGGI — Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — adopted by 10 other states in our region to keep our state running and going in the right direction when it comes to electricity.

This initiative encourages electricity plants to shift from dirty to clean energy.

About half of the money raised by RGGI is used to fight things such as flooding right here in Roanoke, sea level rise in Hampton Roads, and improved efficiency everywhere in our state. That means less human suffering and more money in our pockets.

Anyone who has survived a flood knows how devastating it is not only to the families and businesses flooded out, but everyone in the community. I know, from personal experience, a flood is a disrupter that leaves tragedy in its wake.

The other half of the money raised by RGGI goes to help struggling families to improve energy efficiency at home so they can afford to patch the holes in their houses that allow heated air to leak out, which, in turn, also provides a barrier to keep the cold winter air out. Failing to help these families stay warm and dry moves them yet another step toward homelessness.

Why has our new governor pledged to do away with this initiative, which has worked so well, to replace it with….?

Well, that’s the problem: There is no plan B.

Remember, when our town floods, we all suffer. It’s an instant tragedy for every man, woman and child; flooding is not a partisan issue.

I have a suggestion to consider: Imagine with me if all carbon were to be taxed at the source and that the tax revenue was then given back to the citizens of this commonwealth. The problem would be just about solved.

Gov. Youngkin, as one of your constituents, I implore you: Please don’t shoot the mule until you’ve learned how to drive the tractor.
Eighty-two percent of Americans want clean energy. I, and many others from both sides of the aisle, want you to be successful because when it comes to flooding, our lives depend on it.

Joy Sylvester-Johnson, Roanoke

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