CONCORD, N.H., May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New Hampshire senators are expected to vote today on a bill to strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) considerably – reducing the cap from 165 million tons to 91 million tons (2012 levels).
"Tightening RGGI's cap will keep momentum going on New Hampshire's pursuit of cleaner, more sustainable energy," said Kate Epsen, New Hampshire coordinator for the New England Clean Energy Council. "RGGI has been positive for our state's industries, businesses and residents."
RGGI is the nation's first market-based emissions reduction program that requires power plants to buy permits for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit. Revenue from the sale of these permits is reinvested in clean energy programs that create economic activity in New Hampshire.
"Staying the course on RGGI makes sense for New Hampshire Republicans like me," said Charlie Niebling, New Hampshire resident and former general manager of Jaffrey-based New England Wood Pellet. "It promotes energy thrift for the benefit of consumers, our economy, and the air and water we all share. While RGGI began as an effort to fight climate change, it is an economic boon for New Hampshire."
The new cap level locks in emission reductions achieved to date, and continues to drive additional reductions through 2020. Since it was launched in 2009, economic experts say the increased energy efficiency that RGGI is driving has been generating greater rates of economic growth in each participating state than would have occurred without a carbon price. As of 2011, RGGI adds $17 million in lifetime benefits to New Hampshire's economy and creates 458 jobs.
HB 306 would authorize New Hampshire to continue in RGGI.
Jennifer Donahue, (617) 500-9993
Danielle English, (415) 453-0430
SOURCE New England Clean Energy Council