New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have agreed to “join in the first mandatory regional program in United States history to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.”
Today New Jersey also adopted the California Clean Car program, which will go in effect in 2009. In October, New Jersey became one of the first states to classify carbon dioxide as an air contaminant.
The Bush administration and most Republican supporters in Congress have ignored the scientific community’s near consensus that man is causing global temperatures to rise. Meanwhile, they turn to pseudo-science to delay admitting the inevitable truth and taking appropriate action. Governor Codey said that “in the absence of federal leadership, these states have come together to take real steps to cut carbon dioxide emissions.”
A statement from Gov Codey explains how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative works:
Under the plan, regional CO2 emissions will be capped at 121.3 million tons per year beginning in 2009 through 2014 (a level approximately equal to 1990 emissions), and will be reduced to 10 percent below this level by 2018. The cap-and-trade program established in the agreement sets limits on regional emissions, but allows companies to trade emissions allowances. Companies that do not have enough allowances to cover CO2 emissions must either reduce their emissions or purchase allowances from sources able to reduce their emissions below their prescribed cap.
So what will it cost? Codey says: not much:
The RGGI program is expected to result in very modest direct impacts on average residential household electricity bills. In 2015, the program is expected to increase average household bills in New Jersey between $3 and $5 per year, representing an average increase of 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent. Support for increased energy efficiency, achieved through both the RGGI program and other clean energy policies enacted by New Jersey, is projected to produce average household bill savings that exceed the price impact of the RGGI program. This combination of policies is expected to result in a net reduction in average household electricity bills.