Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
(New York, NY -- Ilya Marritz, WNYC) UPDATED WITH VIDEO New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is withdrawing New Jersey 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.
Here's the video from Christie's office -- note the headline, "NJ's Future is Green," is Christie's office's own spin on the announcement.