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

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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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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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