NJ - No effort at all..

http://www.njherald.com/story/news/26RGGI52011-web


It seems that ANY effort all all to legally minimize our industrial pollution is too much to expect....10% is inadequate but even that is rejected...
It is strange that conservatives would be thrilled....

Do these people really believe that industry should be allowed to pollute the environment without limit?...
If these corporations are so against government regulation then why don't they voluntarily minimize their pollution and make everyone happy?       Why don't they do that!

If they feel that this plan doesn't work and is a just money pit for the government to generate tax, then why don't hay take this time (and the money that did not need to be spent) and clean up their mess....
If they just go along and leave everything unchanged....then they they are not acting a good corporate citizens and they are forcing laws to be written to curb their destructive behavior....
If they would stop polluting, then the Environmental movement would leave them alone....

True or False?


Christie dumps program to curb greenhouse gases
 
AP Photo/Mel Evans 
Gov. Chris Christie announces Thursday that New Jersey will withdraw from a 10-state regional greenhouse gas reduction program by the end of the year.
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By STEVEN REILLY

sreilly@njherald.com

Gov. Chris Christie's announcement on Thursday that he would pull New Jersey out of the Northeast's program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was called "a good first step" by Sussex County lawmakers pushing for the repeal of the law that put New Jersey in the 10-state program aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions 10 percent by 2018.

"This program is not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future," Christie said of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. "The whole system is not working as it was intended to work. It is a failure."

The decision to withdraw from the 10-state cap-and-trade program at the end of the year marks a turnaround for New Jersey, a heavily industrialized state that was an early backer of efforts to curb the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming.

Environmentalists were dismayed, while conservatives were thrilled.

Brendan Gilfillan, a spokesman for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, said the program helps reduce air pollution, promotes clean energy and creates jobs.

Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said the program was working as designed.

Tittel said New Jersey's greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants had declined 10 percent since 2009. He said the pact was responsible for creating 18,000 jobs in the region and generating $2.3 billion in economic benefits.

Gilfillan said that "while we respect every governor's prerogative to make policy decisions, this is a disappointing step given New Jersey's legacy of leadership on environmental issues. We hope the governor will reconsider."

RGGI sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions by fossil fuel-burning power plants and requires them to buy permits to release such gases. The permits can be bought and sold among plants, giving them a financial incentive to operate more cleanly.

The lobbying group Americans for Prosperity initiated the effort to get New Jersey out of RGGI and kill the Global Warming Solutions Fund Act, the law authorizing the state's participation in RGGI. According to Steve Lonegan, the state director for Americans for Prosperity, the lobbying group recruited Assemblywoman Alison McHose, R-Sussex, in 2009 to bring the group's repeal legislation to the Statehouse.

"One lawmaker stepped up to the plate and was willing to put her name out there, stick her neck out for this repeal, and her name is Assemblywoman Alison McHose," Lonegan said

McHose has led the Republican charge to kill the green initiative by sponsoring the repeal bill in the Assembly. State Sen. Steve Oroho, R-Sussex, sponsored the companion bill in the Senate. Assemblyman Gary Chiusano, R-Sussex, joined their effort as well as a co-sponsor.

"We simply need the legislative leadership to allow the (repeal) bill to come to the floor for a vote," McHose said. "Repeal is important so that a future governor will not have the option of imposing this energy tax on New Jersey residents again. Let's finish the fight and repeal RGGI once and for all."

According to the RGGI Memorandum of Understanding that all 10 participating states agreed to, Christie can only change the status of New Jersey to a non-signatory state in the 10-state agreement. The New Jersey Assembly and Senate must pass the McHose and Oroho bills and repeal the current law for the state to be removed from the RGGI program.

"RGGI does nothing more than tax electricity, tax our citizens, tax our businesses with no discernible or measurable impact upon our environment," Christie said, noting that other big Northeastern states such as Pennsylvania are not members.

Christie's action will mean that, as a non-signatory state, New Jersey will no longer participate in RGGI auctions and will lose about $40 million a year in auction revenue. New Jersey has made $141 million in auction revenue since 2009, the third highest amount behind Maryland and New York.

"Sadly, this day will go down in history as the one in which New Jersey ceded its standing as a leader in environmental protection efforts," said Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Essex, a Democrat who chairs the Assembly Environment Committee.

Last year Christie diverted $65 million of the RGGI money, which was earmarked to go toward green initiatives, to close budget gaps in the 2011 state spending plan.

New Jersey residents will save 8 cents per $100 on the average residential electric bill after New Jersey officially becomes a non-signatory RGGI state. Christie must submit written notice of his decision to the RGGI board within 30 days.

"Governor Christie's decision to repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, eliminates a large burden that will make New Jersey more friendly for businesses and affordable for consumers and homeowners," Oroho said in a statement issued Thursday.

But most Sussex County residents will not see much change in their electric bills. Jersey Central Power & Light, which purchases power from generating plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio, non-RGGI states, serves most of the county's residents. The rates for JCP&L customers will not change with the state's withdrawal from RGGI. Only the .0001 cent per kilowatt hour RGGI Recovery Charge will be taken off bills, said J. Greg Reinert, director of communications for the state Board of Public Utilities.

New Jersey residents have three other power suppliers in the state: Atlantic City Electric, PSE&G and Rockland Electric Co. PSE&G operates New Jersey's nuclear power plants that supply 53 percent of all energy in the state. PSE&G plans to continue to participate in the RGGI program with generation assets in New York and Connecticut.

"Over the past five years, 10 states in the Northeast have worked together as early leaders to combat climate change through RGGI, and we have been an active participant," said Anne Hoskins, PSEG's senior vice president of Public Affairs and Sustainability. "Unfortunately, these efforts have not resulted in a national program, and the Northeast states alone cannot solve the problem. Today's development reinforces the need for strong national action."

Christie's announcement puts him in line with three Republicans running for president or considering doing so: Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. All three supported regional emissions trading programs when they first took office as governors of their states, but none do now.

Christie's reversal on RGGI will put him in good standing with conservative tea party Republicans and big-money lobbyists such as David Koch, the chairman of Americans for Prosperity and co-owner of the coal and oil industry giant Koch Industries. Koch Industries spent more than $40 million in political contributions since 2008; $20 million during the 2008 presidential election cycle alone.

Americans for Prosperity has been fighting a national cap and trade program as well as taking aim at individual states in the RGGI program such as New Hampshire and Delaware.

After a 2008 tea party sweep for Republicans in New Hampshire, the newly elected members of the House were the first to write legislation to repeal the RGGI laws in their state with help from Americans for Prosperity.

According to a May 11 report from Amy Quinton of New Hampshire Public Radio, the New Hampshire Senate has voted to keep the state in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but change the way it participates.

The Senate had enough votes to withdraw New Hampshire from RGGI, but Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley amended the bill, saying there wouldn't be enough votes to override an expected veto from New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch.

The defeat in New Hampshire put New Jersey in a very important position in the debate over the life of RGGI and any hope of resurrecting President Barack Obama's national cap and trade program.

A victory in the state Legislature to pass the repeal bills would give Americans For Prosperity the ammunition it needs to kill other regional greenhouse gas control efforts in the Midwest and California, where those programs are struggling under Republican pressure.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
 Created: 5/26/2011 | Updated: 5/27/2011 
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