Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative [RGGI]
In May 2014 the Christie Administration announced its intention to once again try to stop New Jersey from participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program that limits dangerous climate-changing pollution from power plants, by formally repealing the rules implementing RGGI. This move is in response to a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that the Administration illegally pulled the State out of RGGI in 2011. Since then, the Governor has vetoed two separate measures by the New Jersey legislature to keep the program in place, despite the overwhelming bipartisan support (over 80 percent) of New Jersey residents for limits on climate changing greenhouse gases.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is an innovative and successful nine-state program that has been reducing climate-changing carbon pollution from East Coast power plants for the last five years. A recent report from Environment Northeast Acadia Center) finds the program has already helped cut regional climate pollution by about one-third, while bringing participating states billions of dollars in economic benefits, and creating tens of thousands of job-years.
The Administration’s proposed action to repeal the RGGI rules was published in the New Jersey register on July 7. There was a 60-day public comment period, including a single public hearing on Friday, August 8, at 10 am. Even though the hearing will take place while many citizens are distracted by summer vacation, the EEC hoped to encourage Ewing residents to take a few minutes to make their elected representatives aware that they’re against this measure with the following initiatives.
- Joe Mirabella gave a presentation at the Kiwanis Club on RGGI
- Jo Ann Povia, Director of Research for the Freeholders of Mercer County at the time, used ANJEC’s model RGGI Resolution to prompt the Freeholders and County Executive of Mercer County to create, sign and send a resolution about keeping NJ in RGGI.
- The EEC presented the Ewing Township Council with a resolution based on an ANJEC model to adopt to voice support for RGGI as a township. This was adopted in August and delivered to Trenton.
- EEC Chairman Lee Farnham composed a letter/petition – Keep New Jersey in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for Ewing residents to sign to express their support for returning to RGGI. [RGGI petition July 2014] Residents’ signatures were collected at theNational Night Outevent, during August until the deadline for submission and the signed petition was delivered to Trenton by the deadline to add the voices of township residents to those of others opposing the Administration’s decision. In all 102 signatures were acquired, with an age range of 12-87.
- Lee Farnham spoke to the Ewing Lions Club about RGGI in early September at the behest of Councilwoman Jennifer Keyes-Maloney, also President of the same, collecting still more signatures for the petition.