New Jersey announces intent to pull out of RGGI cap and trade – Christie strikes major blow

In a press conference moments ago in Trenton, Gov. Christie announced his support for repealing the state’s cap-and-trade law and withdrawing from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a 10-state regional compact in the Northeast that implements a cap-and-trade energy tax scheme from Maine to Maryland.

“It’s a failure,” Christie said today. “RGGI has not changed behavior and it does not reduce emissions.”

He is absolutely right, and the implications are huge – especially considering that the architect of RGGI was Lisa Jackson, who once was New Jersey’s director of the Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Jon Corzine, and is currently Obama’s administrator at the federal Environmental Protection Agency.  Jackson is now conspiring with Obama to disregard Congress, the American people, and the last national election to implement cap-and-trade like policies through a regulatory back door.

With Christie’s fabulous leadership, New Jersey will be out of RGGI by the end of the year, punching a huge hole in the middle of the regional scheme, lending momentum to burgeoning repel efforts in New Hampshire, Maine, and New York, and leading, perhaps, the final and total end of cap-and-trade as a politically viable concept anywhere in the United States.

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Ed Forbes

“..lending momentum to burgeoning repel efforts in New Hampshire, Maine, and New York, and leading, perhaps, the final and total end of cap-and-trade as a politically viable concept anywhere in the United States…”
Naaa…I live in California and see no hope to see this go away any time soon in the foreseeable future.

A thin veneer of renewables and other greenwash as a sap to the few covering a policy of common sense for the many!

Mac the Knife

Thank You Gov. Christie!
‘And another one gone, and another one gone, and another one bites the dust – Yeah!’
If there are any WUWT fans in New Jersey, I urge you to communicate directly with Gov. Christie’s staff and help educate him better about natural climate change and the fallicies associated with atmospheric CO2. It is always received with greater attention, when information is provided by residents of a politician’s home district or home state!

Yep. Not that I credit Christie with much except dumping Jon Corzine out of Drumthwacket on his Goldman Sachs bankster butt, but North Jersey Republicans are capable of being right every now and then on the “stopped clock” principle.

paul revere

Even though he wants to get rid of cap and trade in his state, he is pro AGW. This doesn’t look good for America if he is the golden child of conservitism.

Doug in Seattle

Sounds like he’s still drinking the AGW koolaid, just not buying Cap’n Trade. It’s a start, but not much.

clype

Another nail in the coffin of the green dreamers over at The Star.
http://www.thestar.com/article/198065

Bob Johnston

Christie has more than enough on his plate just fighting the public unions. No need to take a stand on AGW right now other than to get out of RGGI. A bit disappointed about the offshore wind BS but that’s off in the future.
Just wish we had Christie here in California. We need him.

Todd

Sweet. When will this guy be in the white house?

Steve R

Hurrah!
Is it too early to hope that we are seeing the beginning of the end of global warming foolishness?

Fred from Canuckistan

A brilliant outbreak of common sense over mass hysteria.
He’d make a great POTUS . . . just saying.

Tom Jones

Governor Christie seems not to understand the difference between correlation and causation. He must have been an interesting prosecutor. But, most people don’t either. It’s probably good that he bailed because RGGI was a failure, because people
WILL understand that.

SteveSadlov

OK Jerry Brown, what say you? How about nuking AB32?

This is good. Gov Christi may have a bit more to go but his learning curve is positive.

dragineez

Nah, I’m disgusted. The whole “wind”, “solar” BS. The “there will be no more coal power plants in NJ, ever” BS. I hope he’s just playing to the crowd, but the “experts” he’s been discussing this with are, I’m willing to bet, ALL on the pro-AGW side/agenda. I had great hopes for the man, but this puts a bitter taste in my mouth. He made his reasons for pulling out of RGGI entirely on economic terms, as a conservative should, but then followed it by stating that NJ had already met its goals for GHG emissions under RGGI and that the market was a better cudgel to use than RGGI anyway.
Thanks, but no thanks. Come on Christie, throw the BS flag!

It’s good that NJ will bail out of the ill-advised and wrong-headed RGGI, but Gov. Christie’s announcement is a huge disappointment for those of us who thought he was smart enough—after “months” of study and review, no less—to understand that the claim that “90% of scientists” think that anthropogenic CO2 causes global warming is fatuous propaganda, and that it doesn’t, not in any measurable amount.
Clearly he is not smart enough.
It was also dismaying to hear that he wants to ban any new coal-fired power plants, because they produce the most CO2, and that he’s going to promote off-shore wind farms, which will just raise electric rates astronomically.
I like his tough stance on public-sector unions, but please, Gov. Christie, stay out of the Presidential race!
/Mr Lynn

Just wish we had Christie here in California. We need him.
We have the Anti-Christie. We have the guy who was probably Jon Corzine’s role model.

Layne Blanchard

Unfortunately, he isn’t aware that CAGW is a scam. But he could be educated. Not every legislator can be expected to understand this issue, but the GOP is learning.

Agree w/Bob Johnston. Christie is smart enough to know the “carbon” issue is bogus. But plenty of his constituents aren’t that smart. He’s a politician, and that means he’s always calculating the vote. Always.
Christie won’t run against Obama because it would be uphill, with all the major media rooting as one for The One. And Obama has Air Force 1 & 2 always at his disposal. He doesn’t have a boss, and he can campaign and fund raise 24/7/365. He can manufacture news whenever he wants. IMHO, Christie would have a good chance of winning anyway – but Christie has a much better chance in 2016.
So Christie is playing the right odds. The fly in the ointment for any politician, though, is the fact that six months is a lifetime in politics, and in five years anything could happen to make Christie irrelevant. Or anyone else, for that matter.
I would love for someone of Gov. Christie’s stature to forcefully state that the “carbon” issue is simply a racket, and explain why. But he’s a pol, and telling the truth to that extent wouldn’t be good for his numbers.

oMan

I would give Christie a little slack here. It’s not a complete abandonment of AGW but it is a big practical step away from it. I’ll speculate that he has enough self-knowledge to recognize that he doesn’t know enough science, and he sure doesn’t have time to learn it (particularly when mobbed by special pleaders of all kinds). So his private view may be skeptical of AGW theory. But what matters to a politician is not theory but practice. What will get him elected, what will build his political capital so he can get his agenda through? Things that please voters and build (or don’t burden) the economy. He wants jobs, he wants less (or well-focused, value-delivering) government. I bet he calculated that RGGI was a loser all around: it cost money to be in that club, it bought him no credit except with a tiny base of lefties whose votes he’ll never get, and increasingly it was hurting industry and would be an albatross in his next campaign. So he turned it around. Good-bye to lost money and focus and votes. Hello to a media-catching bold act that allows him to talk about his positive agenda. As for AGW? He will wait and see. …That’s my interpretation. And we’ll have to wait and see!

Power Engineer

While RGGI seems to be getting all the attention in NH and NJ, renewables (RPS) is much more costly forcing us to buy power at 3-10 times the cost of gas generation.

Notes from the press conference [personal comments are in square brackets]:
Withdrawing because:
1) RGGI not meeting the expected allowance cost of $20-$30 a ton originally envisioned. Current auction rates are less than $2.00 at the auction floor
price [$1.89 this year].
2) NJ CO2 emissions are below the 2020 target. [I suggested the NH legislature should declare success, and say we don’t need RGGI any longer. Doesn’t seem to have registered.
3) Other laws passed post RGGI specifically target development of renewable energy. [I hadn’t thought of that angle, I rather like it.]
4) RGGI is essentially a tax on electricity producers and passed on to the consumers.
RGGI has provided no measurable environmental improvement. Since [neighboring] Pennsylvania is not it RGGI, it’s conceivable that their dirty coal plants could put NJ’s clean natural gas and other plants out of business.
NJ will withdraw by year’s end. [Like NH’s bill, Christie noted it coincides with the end of the first three year “control period.” Allowances are good for the control period they’re assigned to and become worthless if not spent.]
There will be no new coal plants in NJ. Christie referred to them as dirty.
NJ will become #1 in offshore wind energy. [Umm, Okay. We’ll be watching.]
[The recording ending before the end of the press conference. Grr. I may look for more.]

Bill Yarber

People, did you listen to what Gov Christie said? He sounded just like Obama. No new coal plants in NJ and big push for offshore wind farms. He just cut ties with RGGI, he is not anti-AGW.
If this is a win for us skeptics, it is but mere chance!
Watch the video, listen to his words, and pray he wises up soon!
Bill

Fergus T. Ambrose

May I suggest a fire sale for all their solar panels that made them almost as popular in New J as in California.

oMan makes some good points. I’d like Christie to get in the media’s face, but in a Democrat state like NJ he’s walking a fine line. If he was governor of Texas he could be more candid.
Bill Yarber, he didn’t really sound just like Obama.
And Sonicfrog coins: “the anti-Christie”. Kudos! You get a gold star.☺
[Finally, I’d like to point out that one of Anthony’s blogroll stars is really on a roll this week: click]

“lending momentum to burgeoning repel efforts in New Hampshire, Maine, and New York”
Sadly, those repeal efforts are not burgeoning. From my http://wermenh.com/rggiwatch/index.html May 11 wasn’t a very good day:

# May 11: Delaware’s House Energy Committee tables their get-out-of-RGGI bill so it won’t be considered by the full house.
# May 11: Maine rejects their get-out-of-RGGI bill and reaffirms an original condition to Maine’s participation in the program – specifically that New England states producing a minimum of 35 million tons of the annual carbon dioxide emissions budget must continue to participate in the program.
# May 11: The NH Senate’s full membership voted for HB 519-FN, 15-9.
And apparently next voted 16-8 for Jeb Bradley’s amendment (really his replacement) that keeps the state in RGGI, but cancels much of its impact.
16 votes are needed to be able to override an expected veto from Gov. Lynch. (It has to go through the Senate Finance committee, a house/senate conference committee and maybe a couple others first.)
# May 5: The NH Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources committee voted down HB 519-FN, 3-2. This gives the bill an “Inexpedient to Legislate” tag, but the bill continues the legislative process. It will next go to the senate’s Finance committee, back to the Energy and Natural Resources committee, and then to the full senate.
One thing the committee considered was an amendment introduced by Sen Bradley that rewrote the enitre bill. It removes much of the controversial funding of various groups, training, and insulation subsidies, leaving only some money for the “core” energy efficiency programs and funds it with $1.00 of the money received from each carbon allowance sold. (Currently a minimum of $1.89.) The remaining money will be given to ratepayers on a per-kwh basis.
It also changed the withdrawal trigger from the end of the year to when states representing 10% or more of the RGGI allowances leave RGGI. Apparently that was changed to just the New England states, but I’m not clear on the details. Apparently Sen Bradley withdrew the amendment saying it wasn’t ready. Without Bradley’s amendment there may not be enough support for the bill in the full senate, or at least, not enough to provide a veto-proof majority.
My testimony for the hearing is at http://wermenh.com/rggiwatch/enr_testimony.html .

The NH (New Hampshire, not Northern Hemisphere) House tagged RGGI repel as one of their key goals and hence are not keen on Sen Bradley’s amendment. They are trying to attach the original bill to other legislation. Law making is like making sausage. I’m not fond of these sorts of tactics, and this sausage has rotten meat. Things are sufficiently confused so I haven’t written a new post on recent NH activity, I’ve just dropped notes in Tips and Notes.
I’m not sure how the NJ new will play in NH. Maine will likely ignore it and remain in their RGGI embrace. The bill to get out was entered more to stimulate discussion than be a serious attempt at repeal.
I could see Delaware untabling their bill.
One curiosity about NJ’s withdrawal is that Delaware and Maryland will no longer share a border with the remaining RGGI states. I’m not sure what that means. Well, it may be obvious – they’ll just buy power from those dirty coal plants in Pennsylvania and clean plants in NJ (if that offshore wind energy works.)
The next quarterly allowance auction is in mid-June, with allowances being offered for both this control period and the next. There will be zero demand from NJ for the next period (2012-2014). There will be a demand for at least 10% of the current period, but it may not much higher than that. I would expect electricity providers should have nearly all the allowances they need for this year.
I’ll likely write up a summary of the next auction, there will be interesting aspects even though the auction price is virtually certain to be $1.89, the floor price.

From http://www.examiner.com/essex-county-conservative-in-newark/rggi-nj-body-blow-new-jersey-out

Several New Jersey Senators and Assembly members have proposed to take New Jersey out of RGGI. But Christie could always get out. Staying in RGGI is voluntary; so says the MOU. That means that the other nine States can’t sue New Jersey to keep it in. (No State has even talked about that.) [Hmm, I had assumed it would take legislation to withdraw. This confirms my suspicion that the NJ legislature had voted its way out and that Christie was able to do this on his own. The next governor could put NJ back in just as easily, I assume (unless that counts as levying a new tax).]
Furthermore, the program is unconstitutional. The US Constitution forbids any State to enter into any multi-State compact unless Congress lets it. No federal law says that any State must or even may form such a compact. [I’ve heard this argument, I guess people haven’t felt they’ve had the financial backing to prosecute it. Besides, Congress could allow it maybe not this year, but possibly before litigation was finished.]

Michael Klein

As an AGW proponent, I was pleasantly surprised by Christie’s remarks. I favor RGGI, but I’m prepared to approach it with an open mind. If RGGI really isn’t reigning in greenhouse gases, let’s dump it. Christie is courageous in banning new coal-fired plants from his state and seeking to enhance renewable sources of energy.

Smokey says:
May 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm
Agree w/Bob Johnston. Christie is smart enough to know the “carbon” issue is bogus. But plenty of his constituents aren’t that smart. He’s a politician, and that means he’s always calculating the vote. Always. . .
I would love for someone of Gov. Christie’s stature to forcefully state that the “carbon” issue is simply a racket, and explain why. But he’s a pol, and telling the truth to that extent wouldn’t be good for his numbers.

Nuts. Gov. Christie’s appeal (to conservatives, anyway) is based entirely on his reputation for straight-talking, not pandering to voters and polls. If he’s hewing to the orthodox Alarmist line on “greenhouse gases” and “climate change” just in order to be politically safe, then he’s not the straight-shootin’ character he’s pretended to be.
I suspect he’s either bought the Alarmist theology because he’s been hoodwinked by all those advisors he claims to have consulted, or because he’s not nearly as smart as everyone thinks he is, or both.
/Mr Lynn

PS, re Smokey’s “I would love for someone of Gov. Christie’s stature. . .”
I’ve been arguing for years that what would drive a fatal stake into the Watermelon movement’s heart would be for a prominent leader to come out and declare that “global warming” is a fraud. I tried to convince Mitt Romney’s people of this back in ’08; never even got a response.
Maybe Sarah Palin will have the guts to stand up to the High Priesthood of Climate Change. Somebody has to.
/Mr Lynn

BradProp1

He’s right to end it, but he’s still stupid enough to listen to the 90% (all 73) scientists that say man is causing global warming. I just decided based on that info that I hope he doesn’t run for president.

GregO

Good move Christie. Let’s not forget that Arizona also had a fit of sanity and dropped out of the western regional states plan for Cap and Trade. The rent-seekers dream is still alive though…
http://www.westernclimateinitiative.org/

Al Gored

I doubt that he does accept AGW but it would be too much to say so right now. One step at a time.
Also doubt very, very much if he will run in 2012.
I hope Rick Perry, Gov of Texas does. He has all the right stuff and could win. In any case, given what slimey low-life liars the Obamites are, this campaign is going to be too ugly for words.

There is not such figure “90%”, the number is 97% based on one of two bogus studies,
1. The Doran paper claims a bogus “97%” which is only 75 out of 77 subjectively cherry picked “specialists” or 2.4% of the 3146 who participated in the survey out of 10,257 Earth Scientists who were sent an invitation.
2. The Anderegg paper is based on Google Scholar illiteracy and worthless.
So long as he does not prevent Natural Gas or Nuclear, preventing coal is playing to the eco-idiots. The offshore wind is emotional nonsense.

R. de Haan

Fortunately there is no affordable green solution to replace coal by a long shot.
Green solutions apart from not being solutions are not green at all.
Wind only mills 15.4 % max of the rated capacity and this is the high number.
The amount of steel, composite and rare earth resources necessary for it’s construction is flabbergasting, all consuming huge amounts of oil, cokes and resources.
Conventional power plants are needed for 100% of the installed wind capacity resulting in sky high electricity bills.
A healthy economy is based on cheap energy.
Without it we’re losing a big part of our middle class, jobs and buying power.
A green economy is a poor economy.
Unfortunately fact don’t count these day’s and stupidity rules.
Good luck with that.

Charlie Foxtrot

I think the gov. did what he needed to do. A total rejection of AGW would destroy his credibility with a good portion of his constituency. He accomplished what needed to be done without opening himself up to denunciation as a flat earther. He doesn’t need such distractions right now, and he is after all a politician who knows how to shuck and jive as needed. He likely realizes that AGW will go away eventually anyway, and since it is not his field, he is wise to avoid taking sides. He might not have lived up to his straight shooter, no holds barred reputation, but AGW is not his area of expertise.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

But he still believes in global warming.

gallopingcamel

Great work Governor!
Let’s take this brilliance to Washington and defund the EPA.
And defund the Department of Education too.

brc

This will get picked up by the Australian media. The Australian government has been pointing to ’10 US states’ as an example of an ETS. It looks like this system will collapse with one or two major players exiting. The price collapse to below the price floor is bad enough.
The more these schemes collapse under their own weight, the better. There is not an effective cap and trade scheme anywhere in the world, and the only countries that have achieved lower emissions is either because of Nuclear Power or recession. The former is OK but the latter isn’t.

mike restin

“Mr Lynn says:
May 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm
It’s good that NJ will bail out of the ill-advised and wrong-headed RGGI, but Gov. Christie’s announcement is a huge disappointment for those of us who thought he was smart enough—after “months” of study and review, no less—to understand that the claim that “90% of scientists” think that anthropogenic CO2 causes global warming is fatuous propaganda, and that it doesn’t, not in any measurable amount.”
—————-
I don’t care what 90% of ‘anybody’ thinks…….90% can’t prove CAGW.
From what I’ve read …… nobody can.

wermet

This appears to be a classic case of “doing the right thing, but for the wrong reason.”
From the video, Gov. Christie exposes himself as a committed pro-AGW, Cool-Aid drinking believer. To all of you calling on him to run for U.S. president, I have only one question, “Why?” How would he be any better that Obama? He can only be worst. If Christie becomes president, we have a Republican president out of step with a Republican House of Representatives. The pro-AGW President will encourage the House of Representatives to bend to his desires. This means BAD laws will be created, all because one this pro-AGW governor inadvertently got one AGW related issue right.
We cannot count on him to be “coincidentally” correct again.

charles nelson

This has punctured the project fatally.
If Jersey don’t go with Cap’n Trade try and imagine western or midwestern states signing up for it!

Since Christie was elected I have been incredibly concerned about his position on energy and the environment. Getting NJ out of RGGI is very reassuring. So far his environmental positions have been more posturing to placate the eco-nuts. As for those wanting him to run for president I agree he should not run (for various reasons) but for NJ he has so far been more than I could have dreamed of as a Governor who actually got elected. I had almost lost all hope on my state. This is another victory, thank you Governor Christie.

hell_is_like_newark

Unfortunately, we are still stuck with the idiotic wealth transfer tax plan to pay for solar panels, etc. My electric rates went from about $0.12 per kWh to around $0.18 per kWh. Its almost cheaper for me generate my own electricity at this point!
The increase was largely due to SREC program: Energy credits paid for each MWh of electricity generated by a solar array. Those credits can be hundreds of $$$ per MWh, which pays for the panels. Of course, its the rate payers that is the ultimate source of the energy credits.

hell_is_like_newark,
The average NJ citizen is an idiot and just blames the electric utility every time their bills go up. The all delusionally believe in wind and solar too, it is like talking to the wall.

harrywr2

TomB says:
May 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm
Nah, I’m disgusted. The whole “wind”, “solar” BS. The “there will be no more coal power plants in NJ, ever” BS.
If I look at the ‘delivered price’ of steam coal in New Jersey I wouldn’t even consider building a coal fired plant. New Jersey has the highest ‘delivered’ price for steam coal in the US.
http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table4_10_a.html

Henry chance

Climate progress claims this move is under Koch pressure. Koch had nothing to do with the state being short of cash. Climate progress is closing and will be a side bar in the Soros blog Center for American Progress.

nandheeswaran jothi

Poptech says:
May 27, 2011 at 6:02 am
hell_is_like_newark,
hell is basically newark with less crime.

nandheeswaran jothi

hell_is_like_newark says:
May 27, 2011 at 5:49 am
Unfortunately, we are still stuck with the idiotic wealth transfer tax plan to pay for solar panels, etc. My electric rates went from about $0.12 per kWh to around $0.18 per kWh. Its almost cheaper for me generate my own electricity at this point!
The increase was largely due to SREC program: Energy credits paid for each MWh of electricity generated by a solar array. Those credits can be hundreds of $$$ per MWh, which pays for the panels. Of course, its the rate payers that is the ultimate source of the energy credits.
Yes. The SREC proces in NJ are like 700$/MWH ( ie. 70c/kwh ). in the rest of the country it is like 250$/MWH ( like 25c/kwh ). so, it is predominantly a wealth re-distribution program….. when this was created, Lisa Jackson was in DEP-NJ, as a driver of that extraordinary pricing scheme. I

nandheeswaran jothi

i keep hearing complaints about coal power plants in NJ.
It does not matter who the Gov is and Who the Prez is and which party runs the state and feds ( NJ & US ), there will not any new coal power plants in NJ. This has nothing to do with CAGW. It has to do with a state that has 8.5 million people living in the land the size of 7400 sq miles ( 4th smallest state) and land cost up the wazoo, and pollution control devices needed being so high, it is better to site them in PA and OH. and that is what they do. The only kind of power plants that are cost effective in NJ are NatGas CoGen plants.