The New Hampshire House has passed a bill that would have NH withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI. Next step is Senate (maybe a stop at a Finance committee, and then the Governor. He may well veto it, but the house passed it 246 to 104. The senate will like pass it by a veto proof majority too.
RGGI was supposed to segue directly into a national cap-and-trade system, and was designed by Lisa Jackson, now EPA administrator, when she ran New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection. The pitch to industry was that they could get a head start on buying cap-and-trade permits for two or three dollars each, and make a fortune when a federal bill passed with permit prices ten times that or higher. Now that a federal bill is dead, RGGI is a lose-lose for everyone except the politicians who get to spend the money and the special interests receiving subsidies.
The overwhelming veto-proof, bipartisan vote today means that New Hampshire is now on a path to doing something that looked impossible just a couple years ago — repeal a cap-and-trade program. In the process, it could deal the death blow to cap and trade both regionally and nationally.
While RGGI can survive the loss of a small state like New Hampshire, it could probably not survive the loss of a large state like New Jersey, where a repeal effort is picking up steam fast, with at least 37 co-sponsors.
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