Virginia County Pulls Out of CO2 Emission Reduction Agreement

Published September 26, 2011

The Board of Supervisors of Albemarle County in rural central Virginia has voted to remove the community from a national agreement aimed at getting local governments to encourage or mandate reductions of greenhouse gas emission in their jurisdictions.

Called the Cool Counties Initiative, the plan calls for participating jurisdictions to voluntarily decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. Albemarle County joined the initiative in December 2007 and immediately put into effect a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2 percent per year.

In September of this year, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 to end participation in the plan.

‘Not the Government’s Job’

Supervisor Kenneth Boyd, who led the campaign for the opt-out, told a local newspaper the county should set its own goals for greenhouse gas emissions without committing itself to a national program.

“It’s not the fact that I don’t want to be an environmental steward,” Boyd was quoted as saying. “I recycle, I compost, I use rain barrels. I’m an environmentally conscious steward, but I don’t think it’s the government’s job to dictate those things.”

“These moves [of the Albemarle supervisors] are welcome reversals of the ‘sustainability’ industry’s effort to impose the energy-scarcity, lifestyle-cop agenda through bottom-up efforts aimed at converging with the top-down schemes, such as the new ‘sustainability’ treaty at the Rio+20 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development,” said Christopher Horner, a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. 

“We will see a renewed push-back on such local efforts,” Horner predicted. “[There’s] a tarnish now on Big Green.”

Cheryl Chumley ([email protected]) writes from Northern Virginia.