(TRENTON) — Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Chairman John F. McKeon (D-Essex) issued a multimedia package Wednesday on his legislation to clarify the need for New Jersey to continue to participate in the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), despite actions from Gov. Christie and the Executive Branch seeking to withdraw from the multi-state coalition.
RGGI is the first market-based regulatory program in the U.S. designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy providers. Coalition states from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have agreed to cap and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power producers by 10 percent by 2018. Gov. Christie announced in May that he would be pulling New Jersey out of the RGGI coalition by the end of the year.
McKeon’s measure (A-4108) specifically requires New Jersey’s continued participation in RGGI and indicates that the governor’s actions to the contrary are in direct violation of more than five years worth of legislative intent to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.
The multimedia package consists of a video of Assemblyman McKeon discussing his legislation and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments by Assemblyman McKeon is appended below:
Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Chairman:
“The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, involved New Jersey becoming tenth in a consortium of states in the Northeast who go to energy producers or electricity producers and require, as they emit greenhouse gases, that up to a certain level beyond that, they have to buy credits, if you will, in order to produce over that amount.
“As opposed to a populous state like ours being an environmental leader, we’re now pulling away, because of the governor’s decision, from that consortium of states, and it really is abominable environmental policy and shortsighted, as it relates to even our economic benefit.
“The legislation that hopefully will get to the governor’s desk will restate our strong position as to be a part of the RGGI pact; to place us there and remove any discretion from the administrative branch from pulling away from what we believe the law of the land is.”