NJ Could Take Hit by Dropping Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Study

New Jersey could be losing jobs and other economic benefits by pulling out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, according to a new study.

Governor Christie Chris announced in May that New Jersey would abandon the cap-and-trade program that uses market incentives to reduce emissions this year.

The privately funded study found that electricity customers paid $912 million to finance the program across the 10 states that participate in the region.

"That is direct spending in the economy," said researcher Susan Tierney. "So that went to hire people to put in insulation, to advise buildings about combined heating and cooling systems that are very efficient."

Tierney said that amounts to a net benefit of $1.6 billion across the region in the past three years.

Critics of the RGGI program said it was not working and drove up energy costs for consumers.