Two bills, both attempting to reassert state sovereignty over environmental regulations, will be considered in Virginia’s 2011 legislative session. The first, House bill 1357 (HB1357) addresses the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions specifically, while the second, House Bill 1397 (HB1397) seeks to protect Virginia homeowners from potential cap and trade requirements.

HB1357 was originally introduced in January 2010 – but was carried over for the 2011 session back in February. It’s primary object? To ensure that the state holds authority over the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions – as the Constitution provides. The following is its summary, as introduced:

Department of Environmental Quality; carbon dioxide. Prohibits the Air Pollution Control Board and the Department of Environmental Quality from taking any action to restrict the emission of carbon dioxide. Any federal law or regulation that purports to prohibit, limit, or control in any way the emission of carbon dioxide shall be without authority, void, and of no force within the boundaries of the Commonwealth.

HB1397 was prefiled for the 2011 session on 07-21-10. If passed, it would protect homeowners from regulations, requirements, etc – that may come from federal cap and trade legislation. The following is its summary, as introduced:

Residential energy efficiency standards. Exempts any residential building or manufactured home in Virginia from being subject to federal “cap and trade” legislation if such buildings comply with the Statewide Uniform Building Code.The owner of such building or home cannot be required by the federal government to (i) have an energy efficiency analysis conducted on his residence, (ii) have his residence meet federal energy efficiency standards, (iii) participate in a building performance labeling program, (iv) make modifications to the residence in accordance with federal legislation, and (v) post a label showing the energy efficiency of his home prior to its sale. The bill also prohibits a state agency from assisting any federal agency in the implementation of global warming or climate change legislation.

The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned. Implied in such legislation is that the state apparatus will enforce the act against all violations – in order to protect the liberty of the state’s citizens.

Already 25 states have passed laws and resolutions to effectively nullify the 2005 Real ID act, and 15 states are actively defying and nullifying federal laws on medical marijuana.


CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s Cap and Trade/EPA nullification tracking page

The Tenth Amendment Center has released the Environmental Preservation Act to help save water, land, and air quality by keeping its regulation away from the politically-interested federal government – and putting it where it belongs, on a state level.

Michael Boldin

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