New Hampshire’s newly elected veto-proof Republican majority is swiftly consolidating the pro-pollution agenda provided by oil billionaires Charles and David Koch, the heads of Koch Industries.
The New Hampshire House passed HB 519 by 246-104 on Wednesday, repealing its membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), after a successful robocall campaign fronted by Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, one of the national Tea Party groups created by the oil billionaires.
The legislation under attack funds clean energy. The Koch brothers have an income of $20 billion from dirty energy.
New Hampshire was one of the founding members of RGGI, a carbon market between 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the first mandatory emissions trading plan in the country. RGGI requires power plants in participating states to cap CO2 emissions at 188 million short tons per year through 2014, with additional annual reductions of 2.5 percent from 2015 to 2018.
RGGI helps states move from dangerous and dirty energy by funding the switch needed for clean energy.
Through its cap on polluters, New Hampshire earned $28 million from the auctions in 2009, that it was able to use in energy savings and clean energy funding that will cut the greenhouse gases that cause dangerous climate destabilization, and generate over $60 million in savings in the state over the next twenty years.
The RGGI cap and trade funds pay for retrofitting buildings, insulating low income homes, giving businesses help in reducing energy costs and providing rebates that make solar roofs affordable, among other initiatives.
But the last election has ended New Hampshire’s RGGI participation.
In the New Hampshire House, 297 of 400 seats went to the GOP, along with 19 of the 24 Senate seats, creating a majority that has not happened since 1962. With unprecedented funding from the Koch brothers, following the Supreme court decision to allow bribery, polluter-friendly “Tea Party” Republicans have been installed in state legislatures around the country, who signed pollution-friendly “climate pledges” in return for the billionaires’ funding.
Because of the size of the polluter-funded majority, the New Hampshire Senate is sure to pass Wednesday’s House bill repealing New Hampshire’s membership in RGGI, and will be able to pass the repeal overcoming a veto from Governor John Lynch, who is a Democrat.
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