State Lawmakers Split on Regional Carbon Emissions Programs

Jan 29, 2019

Credit MBandman / Creative Commons

Should Virginia work with neighboring states to combat climate change? Lawmakers are divided. And, it’s a partisan disagreement.

Democrats say Virginia should join regional programs to cut back on carbon emissions. Delegate Alfonso Lopez is a Democrat from Arlington who says now is the time to work against climate change.

“Taking action across multiple states would also contribute to improved air quality for better public health across the region. It makes sense for Virginia to be in the room where it happens, actively engaged.”

But Republicans don’t want to be actively engaged, at least not in regional plans to cut back on carbon emissions.

Delegate Charles Poindexter is a Republican from Franklin County. He says Virginia should consider all the pushback against these kinds of programs.

“I think we’ve all seen the pushback on climate change bills around the world and in the United States. We’ve saw riots throughout the villages and cities and even into Paris, France.”

This week, the House of Delegates passed two bills preventing regional cooperation: One that would prevent the governor from signing on to regional greenhouse gas initiatives. The other would prevent Virginia from joining regional transportation sector emissions programs. Both passed largely along party lines.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.