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Cap And Trade new jersey governor chris christie

Published on June 29th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

7

New Jersey Pulling Out of RGGI? Not Yet, but Maybe.. (& Clear Reasons Why It Shouldn’t)

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June 29th, 2011 by Zachary Shahan 

new jersey governor chris christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, one of the Republican party’s many two-faced liars (who says he is promoting renewable energy but is, in fact, doing everything he can to fight its growth), recently announced that he was pulling the state out of the Northeast’s climate change and clean energy cap-and-trade program, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Well, it turns out, Governor Christie may not have the power to do so soon… but it’s going to be a close call.

Two bills aimed at vetoing the Governor’s decision passed the New Jersey State Senate on Monday. However, news is they passed by a thin margin and the Governor may be able to veto them if they get to his desk. If that happens, Christie’s plan is to pull NJ out of RGGI at the end of 2011.

Some more detail on the bills passed by the NJ Senate late Monday night:

The bills passed late Monday night would make the state’s participation in the initiative state law and would frame any withdrawal as inconsistent with the Legislature’s expressed intent to support global warming initiatives.

The legislation squeaked through the Senate on a 21-18 vote, spelling probable doom for the bill, which will almost certainly be vetoed by Christie. Supporters would need 27 votes to overcome Christie’s veto.

Doesn’t sound good.

The Republican reason for wanting to pull out of RGGI? It’s deterring businesses from coming to or investing in NJ. Total BS.

Here are some climate change, clean energy, and RGGI statistics released by Environment New Jersey on Sunday that show exactly how much RGGI is helping NJ and the other states involved:

$872 million: What has been raised for the states in 11 auctions held so far.

$440 million: What the states have invested in energy efficiency projects using proceeds from the auctions.

$2.6 billion: Estimated increase in gross state product (the total output of a state’s economy) in member states through spending of RGGI funds.

$209.9 million: Estimated increase in gross state product in New Jersey through spending of RGGI funds.

184 million: The peak in carbon dioxide emissions in tons by the 10 states, which occurred in 2005.

$35 million: Total amount of money invested in clean energy in New Jersey from RGGI funds.

$90 million: Estimated energy savings in New Jersey through money spent on energy efficiency.

2 percent: What power plants in RGGI contribute to the national total of greenhouse gas emissions.

“By disregarding the intent of the Legislature which required New Jersey to be a member of RGGI, Governor Christie is ignoring the will of the people,” Assemblyman John McKeon, who chairs the environmental committee, said. Of course he is. But who’s going to hold him accountable come election time?

In the past few years, Republicans across the country have turned their back on market-based cap-and-trade, a system they strongly supported (and, I think, came up with). Why? Well, probably because their real intent is not to help the public transition to a clean, jobs-creating economy, but to continue helping the fossil fuel hands that feed them. Cap-and-trade was their preferred solution for promoting clean energy and fighting climate change until Democrats started to say they were willing to accept and implement that solution (as opposed to a different legislative solution). Now, of course, we see that many Republicans aren’t even willing to implement cap-and-trade!

Until voters make it clear to Republicans who try to kill clean energy programs that they’re not accepted as our political leaders, expect this nonsense to continue.

Our task: educate people about the clear benefits of clean energy, climate science, and true policies of fossil-fuel-funded politicians. That’s my 2 cents. Spread the word!

More RGGI articles on CleanTechnica:

  1. 3 States Stay in Northeast Cap & Trade Program (for Obvious Reasons) Despite Huge Republican/Tea Party Attack
  2. Massachusetts Joins California and New Mexico to Cut GHGs 25% Below 1990 by 2020
  3. Northeast Cap & Trade Initiative’s 10th Auction Brings in $48.2 Million

Photo via Bob Jagendorf. More on New Jersey Clean Energy.

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Bill Hewitt

    SixerO4fan: You may not like the tone of Zach’s comment, but the content is, unfortunately, true. The Republican Party actually used to have some pretty amazing environmentalists. John Chafee comes to mind. One of the only real stalwarts still standing is William Reilly. The GOP has pretty much sold out to the fossil fuel special interests (often spelled K.O.C.H. these days) and to its truly reactionary right wing. (see “Backlash” here: http://climatechange.foreignpolicyblogs.com/2010/09/19/backlash/)

    Zach: Great article, “The Political History of Cap and Trade,” here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/specialsections/ecocenter/air/Presence-of-Mind-Blue-Sky-Thinking.html The GOP didn’t invent cap-and-trade but they brought it into flower during the G.H.W. Bush administration. It has been a huge success in curtailing acid rain. It will continue to work and to improve for RGGI (with our without NJ), the EU, and now California.

    • Anonymous

      Bill, thanks for the link. Greatly appreciated! :D

  • Pingback: New Jersey Pulling Out of RGGI? Not Yet, but Maybe.. (& Clear Reasons Why It … | NewJerseyNewsPress.com | New Jersey News Headlines and Breaking News | News Directory

  • Sixer04fan

    “…one of the Republican party’s many two-faced liars…” If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, don’t make yourself out to be such a one-sided, closed-minded, overly subjective, anti-Republican. There are way too many articles on this where you resort to petty name calling and cheap shots towards Republicans, and you show literally no focus on writing intellectual, objective, informative articles. There are so many factors involved in Christie’s decision to reduce it’s REC program that you are either too ignorant or too uneducated to understand. Do you have any idea what the state of NJ’s budget is? Or how a true economic model cannot rest on the laurels of insignificant government incentives?

    As an Energy Engineer, I am an avid follower of this site. I am very interested in the new technologies and policy news that you report… But sometimes when you start trying to write about politics, you portray yourself as if you’re a high school kid going on a rant about some teacher that gave you detention. “The big bad Republicans are destroying the country!” That’s basically the gist I get from reading your columns more often than not. It’s just embarrassing writing for an adult that is running a website.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, Sixer04fan, but that is the gist I’m trying to present. Because that is the case.

      On RGGI in NJ, RGGI is an economic driver (see the above). Christie is trying to kill it despite that & despite NJ’s situation.

      Christie says he’s promoting Renewable Energy & set a RE target that’s lower than what his predecessor set, after saying that his predecessor didn’t do enough for RE.

      I’m sorry, I follow the politics AND policy closely, and the Republican leaders of today are driving the country into the ground. Even top aids & officials from Reagan and Bush administrations are shaming them for it.

      • Grey1234fox

        Zshanan3, I join Sixer04fan in reading your freshman highschool rant. I am a conservative Republican but also developing clean energy facilities. Perhaps if your Democratic talking points which you adhere to would explain why the current administration seems to prevent more clean energy than they approve. It takes as long to obtain approval for a non-dam hydroelectric project as it does for a fish blocking physical dam, it believes that a coal fired power plant being converted to burn wood pellet produces more emissions than the coal plant did originally. Plus, we have some 6,000 mw of coal fired power plants being shut down, hard to replace those plants quickly, I guess we burn candles in the future.

    • Anonymous

      What we’re watching is Republican leaders taking a very anti-environmental turn. Even the few, like Romney, who admit climate change is happening are likely to do little to nothing to address the problem, but declare that we have to take care of “business” first and deal with climate change later.

      This next election is going to be critical in terms of whether we move ourselves off of fossil fuels or sentence ourselves to several more years of having the fossil fuel industry control our government.

      I suspect, Sixer04fan, that you are finding yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between clean technology and supporting your chosen political party.

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