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Christie Pulls Plug on Greenhouse Gas Initiative for New Jersey

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced on Thursday he will withdraw the state from a greenhouse gas emissions reduction program by the end of the year. 

The cap-and-trade program — the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — requires power plants in 10 northeast states to buy emissions credits for every ton of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

In recent months, Christie cast doubt on the science of global warming, and eliminated the state's Office of Climate Change.

"The whole system is not working as it was intended to work," Christie said. "It is a failure."

But State Senate President Steve Sweeney said the program "has wide-spread support and its principles are largely endorsed by the people of New Jersey. Removing New Jersey from RGGI can only cause harm to our state’s environment."

The New Jersey Sierra Club called the move "an environmental disaster."

Proceeds from the program have been used to fund energy efficiency and environmental programs. Last year, Christie raided the fund to help balance the state's budget.

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Comments [5]

But there are moments when the world presents an opportunity for the public to demand that such politicians stand and deliver. When the decisions that they are going to make for the ‘public good’ can be tested against the man’s/woman’s character, judgment, intellect and wisdom. Such a moment exists now for the citizens of New Jersey with regard to Governor Christie. This same moment also exists for many other Governors in other states, both Democrat and Republican.
What an opportunity! These political leaders can stand up and be counted. They can directly show the public and the nation their personal integrity, their own confidence in their judgment, and their willingness to be responsible and accountable for their decisions in office. How fortunate to be a politician in such a time. How lucky to be able to stand before the public and show them right here and now, that they ‘put it all on the line’ in their service to the people. Surely history will remember them for being the type of statesman/woman who epitomizes the American values and ideals. How could they shrink from an opportunity like this, unless they were not really conducting themselves as public servants?
What is the opportunity? Well, one case is the natural gas fracking issue. Governor Christie has indicated that New Jersey needs to proceed with gas explorations and the use of the fracking process for the good of New Jersey. He may not be a scientist, engineer or particularly knowledgeable about the subject, but he believes that providing affordable and domestic-sourced energy is vital to New Jersey and the nation; and if the process of fracking will provide that then he believes that the state should support and encourage the business. Many New Jerseyians agree and support this view, and many do not; that is why it’s a political issue. And here is where Christie can move to the forefront, here is where he can be the leader that New Jersey and the nation needs.
All that is required is that Governor Christie pledge to accept the consequences of his decision. He only needs to take a simple and easily accomplished promise; and then he must do what so many politician always fail to do, he must abide by his promise and fulfill his oath. Now if the Governor or no one else has figured out what the pledge is, I would only ask that you take a moment to think what would be an obvious, direct and immediate action that he or any other governor or politician could take. And now that you’ve thought about it, I am sure that you see it as clearly as I do.
If you don’t recognize it, well perhaps you might seek assistance from your friends and neighbors, from your colleagues and party members, or from those whose opinions and judgments you respect. And if this fails, I am sure we can find a way to provide the answer. The ‘ah ha’ moment will be well worth it. 

May. 29 2011 12:57 PM
Larry from jersey

Gov Christie is a hero and a professional. RGGI is a huge tax, secretly imposed on our utility bills. If it was so great, why have utility companies been so secretive about it? And why does you headline say "Greenhouse gas Initiative" instead of "Secret Tax" which is what it is? RGGI is a leftist stealth tax imposed on us by the elite, as a taxpayer, I oppose it. I applaud this governor for his excellence.

May. 26 2011 08:23 PM
Kurt from NYC

Another political rejection of the conclusion that enjoys nearly universal respect in the scientific community, and the cancelation of a policy designed to respond via a market mechanism. This can only hurt his budget priorities, as he has already raided the account from RGGI proceeds and diverted it to other uses, which he can't do once NJ leaves RGGI. Next, will he cancel the teaching of Biology in NJ because he rejects the scientific conclusion that evolution of species is a fact?

May. 26 2011 05:31 PM
Dave from Maplewood

Does this mean that PGE&G doesn't have to buy the SRECs that my solar roof is generating? What happens to companies that finance their solar installations with options on SRECs? Nice job governor. Kill public transportation, try to starve the poor schools, refuse a gas or millionaires tax. At least he clearly knows which side his bread's buttered on.

May. 26 2011 04:31 PM
Paul from Andover, NJ

Gov. Chritie continues his anti-evironment, pro-corporate and upper economic class initiatives. I hope he will be held accountable next election.

May. 26 2011 04:02 PM

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