The New Hampshire House of Representatives, the third largest legislative body in the world, voted yesterday to end the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade program. The House voted 251-108 after less than 5 minutes of debate to repeal the law under which the state joined RGGI. A number of Democrats refused to attend due to other legislation voted the same day to declare state employees to be employed at-will rather than having collective bargaining rights.
Aimed at reducing the the greenhouse gas emissions in the region, the RGGI program is a coalition of 10 northeastern US states issuing their own carbon credits under a cap and trade program. Under the program, emitters must either reduce their emissions to a specified level or purchase credits from others at auction on cap and trade markets that carry the RGGI credits. Proceeds of the auction are ostensibly used to fund energy efficiency programs, however critics have complained that electric users are funding efficiency programs that don’t directly benefit them.
Governor John Lynch, a Democrat who supports the RGGI, says repealing the law would cost the taxpayers $6 million a year, while the state forfeits $12 million a year in funding.
NH belongs to a regional power pool that dictates electric rates paid by members. If NH quites RGGI, electric rates paid by residents would still carry costs included that represent carbon credits purchased by RGGI members that belong to the pool.
New Hampshire has one of the highest levels of electric production by nuclear and renewable energy sources in the country (53.1% of Net Generated MWh):
Those wishing to support this legislative move by the state House are encouraged to contact Governor Lynch:
Contact Governor Lynch: