Thursday, December 29, 2022

Carbon tax and trade is not good for Virginia.


Discourse to the  Daily Press Newspaper Carbon tax and trade opinion. The Daily Press attacks our governor in the usual manner and as most liberal media pundits do. However, the media does not consider the harm of the RGGI plan implemented in Virginia by Democrats who want nothing but control of its citizens in the name of the environment. 

Having worked in the wastewater business for over 25 years, I can say this about the nitrogen cap and trade. The nitrogen cap and trade program has had financial and environmental results that are mixed at best. The EPA explains how Bay jurisdictions may accommodate new or increased nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loadings. The Bay jurisdictions include Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. New or increased nitrogen loadings may be accommodated either through a specific TMDL allocation or by offsetting those loadings with quantifiable and accountable reductions. This program has been in place for decades now, and we still get C averages at best as to the health of the bay. This means there has been little impact on the bay's health, but it has lined the pockets of the rich who trade in crypto-like currencies and credits. This program in Virginia is similar to the carbon cap and trade program. We can look at its results to understand if this program hurts or helps our economy and environment. The Nitrogen program harms all Virginians who live on a septic system. Low-income and rural Virginia, where wastewater solutions are needed due to age,  often find themselves having no recourse to continue to live in their homes legally. Example: Small communities that need wastewater infrastructure above 1000 gallons per day must buy nitrogen credits to build a treatment plant to direct discharge to a river or stream. These credits are hard to find because larger urban treatment plants hoard their credits for further expansion at their facilities. And if a small rural community can find the credits, they are costly and, in some cases, not affordable. Communities can turn to soil-based dispersal, but this, too, is very expensive when the county has to purchase suitable land for effluent dispersal. What happens is the county board of supervisors looks the other way while small communities in need of help continue to affect the streams and rivers of the commonwealth adversely. Small communities like Columbia, Virginia, are an example of a do-nothing approach and look the other way with heads in the sand. At the same time, aging septic systems pollute the James River. Another area that should be considered for a Virginia Department of Health exploratory environment study is the Chickahomney Haven / Cypress Point area of James City County. These are just two communities that need to address aging septic systems where the total gallons per day community wise is above a 1000-gallons per day, and any viable long-term solution, professionally speaking, is a community system and not an individual septic system. The carbon cap and trade will offer Virginians the same issues facing California: rolling blackouts, poor infrastructure, and higher costs that will adversely affect Virginia's poor and rural communities. 

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