Press Release | July 15, 2021

SELC statement on challenge to Virginia’s cap-and-trade program

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Today the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond issued an opinion rejecting to the Virginia Manufacturers Association’s 2020 challenge to Virginia’s cap-and-trade program. In response to the decision, SELC Senior Attorney Nate Benforado released the following statement:

“Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is already working to drive down carbon dioxide emissions in the Commonwealth while bringing in tens of millions of dollars to help low-income families reduce electricity bills and communities combat flooding. The Virginia Manufacturers Association’s last-ditch effort to upend this program not only would have subverted the will of the General Assembly, but also would have hurt millions of people across Virginia who stand to benefit from cleaner air to breathe and programs to deal with climate change. We are extremely pleased that the court saw right through the Virginia Manufacturers Association’s baseless arguments.”

Virginia is the first Southern state to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Southern Environmental Law Center filed an amicus brief on behalf of our clients, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, Appalachian Voices, and Wetlands Watch, supporting the Attorney General’s Office’s defense of this important program.

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The Southern Environmental Law Center is one of the nation’s most powerful defenders of the environment, rooted in the South. With a long track record, SELC takes on the toughest environmental challenges in court, in government, and in our communities to protect our region’s air, water, climate, wildlife, lands, and people. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the organization has a staff of 170, including 90 attorneys, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., with offices in Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Nashville, Richmond, and Washington, D.C. www.southernenvironment.org

Press Contacts

Alexandra Werner-Winslow

Communications Manager (VA)

Phone: 434-977-4090
Email: awernerwinslow@selcva.org