Tommy Wright: One thing was removed from the budget

Published 12:00 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

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The budget signed into law by the Governor last week isn’t one that a Republican-led House would have passed. Nonetheless, it is significant for one thing that it did not contain — a mandate that Virginia rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

This mandate being removed saved Virginia taxpayers 600 million dollars. The multi-state cap and trade program requires utilities to buy carbon credits for their emissions, the proceeds of which are then sent back to state government.

Democrats justify the program by spending much of the proceeds on flood mitigation projects and energy efficiency. But that’s not the purpose of RGGI. When it was founded, the program was designed to reduce carbon emissions. It has failed spectacularly. While carbon emissions inside Virginia from the production of power went down under RGGI, the carbon emitted in total to meet Virginia’s power needs went up.

Said simply, Virginia simply exported its carbon emissions to West Virginia. If Democrats want to reduce carbon emissions, they should institute a carbon tax that is refunded to consumers. But claiming RGGI is about carbon emissions while decrying the lost funding from its implementation shows just how disingenuous the entire proposition was.


The gateway to financial aid for college students is the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Filled out each year, the application opens the doors to money from both the Federal and state governments. Due in part to issues with a disastrous redesign rollout, the applications have dropped significantly. According to the National College Attainment Network, FAFSA completions among high school seniors are down nearly 25% compared to last year. Only about 36% of the class of 2024 has completed the FAFSA, compared to 48% of the class of 2023 by this time last year.

The form is now simplified and can now be completed in as little as 10 minutes. Encouraging students to fill out the form is one way to help them get the education they need to succeed.


Our nation is the home of the free thanks to the sacrifices of the brave. Let’s remember those who have given the last full measure of devotion so we can remain free. May God continue to watch over all families who have lost their loved ones, and may he continue to bless the United States of America.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at or (804) 698-1061.