Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: April 8, 2018
Contacts: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Limiting Virginia’s Ability to Fight Global Warming and Create Clean Energy Jobs

RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today vetoed House Bill 1270, which would limit the Governor’s authority to use a market-based carbon trading program to reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy sector. The Governor’s full veto statement is below:

April 9, 2018

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1270, which prohibits the Governor or any state agency from adopting any regulation establishing a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program or establishing participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or any similar program without explicit majority vote approval by both houses of the General Assembly.

Climate change affects all citizens and business entities in the Commonwealth, especially those located in coastal regions. The Commonwealth must have all the tools available to combat climate change and protect its residents. These tools include the ability to adopt regulations, and rules and guidance that mitigate the impacts of climate change by reducing carbon pollution in the Commonwealth. The Governor and state agencies should not be limited in their ability to protect the environment and in turn, the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Furthermore, this prohibition would tie Virginia’s hands in the global race to lead the clean energy economy and create the jobs that come with it. A Commonwealth with our resources and workforce should be on the leading edge of this promising sector, not erecting barriers to innovation and economic growth.

Finally, the legislative veto set out in House Bill 1270 violates two provisions of the Virginia Constitution: Article III, Section 1 (Separation of Powers) and Article IV, Section 11 (Enactment of Laws).

Accordingly, I veto this bill.



Ralph S. Northam


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