NJ (Thankfully) Backs Out of Regional Cap-and-Trade Program

One of the favorite lines that Loneganites like to throw at Chris Christie supporters is that he supports cap and trade legislation on the state level. Their basis is New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is the first cap and trade program in the United States. The goal of the program was to cut CO2 and other emissions in the northeastern United States by 10 percent by 2018. The program included ten states that all agreed to dedicate millions of dollars in that time to fund green programs in each state.

Over the last few years New Jersey and its neighbors have been dumping our tax money into an account for these programs. Until now. New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, and Maryland have all reneged on the promise to fund this environut slush fund in hopes of fixing their respective budget woes or taking care of issues that are more pertinent and likely better uses of taxpayer money.

Green technology and jobs seem to be hot topics among some of our other bloggers lately, much to the chagrin of some readers. I can see both sides of this issue. Being on the cutting edge of green technology is a essential for the United States to remain the world’s economic force in the long run. This technology, probably in some form that we have not yet even realized, is the future of power, and being able to export it will ensure our nations dominance. Just as so many nations rely on the United States for refined oil, they will someday need to rely on us for whatever comes next, if we do the research and perfect the technology. However, government intervention to implement inefficient and immature technologies and go against the grain of market forces is not the way to achieve this goal. Energy companies see the long term, they know that to stay relevant and rich they will need to change their model at some point. The research will get done, and it will likely be funded by the insane prices we are once again paying at the pump to Exxon, et al. And thats exactly the way it should be. Once these technologies can actually power a city and make money doing it, the green revolution will happen. And until that day, it shouldn’t happen.

Details on the funding changes are scarce at the moment, but an Associated Press article on the subject seems to imply that not only are dollars not being placed into the account, but “substantial” funds from within the account may be removed to help the Christie Administration deal with next year’s budget deficit. Last night Governor Christie appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss fiscal challenges facing the states in the coming years. His message was simple, that New Jersey must cut its spending and will be an example to the nation of a state that will live within its means. There is probably no better place to start saving money than a program that is fundamentally flawed like the RGGI. Plus, anything to give the Loneganites one less “RINO” talking point is always great news!

9 thoughts on “NJ (Thankfully) Backs Out of Regional Cap-and-Trade Program

  1. Brian —

    I am not sure why you would title your post "NJ (Thankfully) Backs Out of Regional Cap-and-Trade Program." Nothing could be further from the truth.

    New Jersey is still a participant in RGGI – period.

    Your readers deserve better than to be led to believe otherwise. I urge you to revise your post title accordingly.

    Mike, Americans for Prosperity

  2. Mike,

    Your argument is one of semantics. A states function in the RGGI program is to wrongfully institute measures to divert funds from legitimate government purposes and to a fund for green projects. New Jersey, along with a few other states, have effectively ceased funding said account and are raiding the fund for other, far more pressing uses.

    If the primary function of New Jersey in the agreement is to fund this account, and they are now not funding the account and are in effect taking money back from it, then they have reneged on their contractual obligation from joining RGGI. To put it in terms you might appreciate, you could call New Jersey an "RGGINO"

    Whether NJ is a member of the initiative is inconsequential if they do not abide by its mandatory rules and requirements. My readers are smart enough to understand that "backing out" does not necessarily mean they held a huge press conference to denounce the program and affirmatively left. And by reading the post I think you would find that perfectly clear.

  3. Brian–

    Once again, I’m afraid you do not have your facts straight.

    The entire purpose of RGGI cap-and-trade auctions is to sell carbon permits, and then use those proceeds for various “green projects.” The money is not being diverted FROM the general fund – it is being diverted TO the general fund. You have it completely backwards.

    The title of your post is factually incorrect and totally misleading. It is not “semantics” to say that New Jersey has “backed out” of cap-and-trade when our state is fully immersed in it. Raiding the monies from the “Global Warming Solutions Fund” does not equate with "backing out."

    Nor is it inconsequential that the funds are being diverted when NJ still participates in these auctions which, in turn, lead to increased electricity rates on consumers and business owners.

    RGGI is a stealth tax on energy — and remains so — regardless of where the money goes on the back end.

    You are off base and, I'm sorry to say, doing a disservice to the battle against cap-and-trade by giving the raiding of funds your tacit approval.

    I do hope your readers are smart enough to figure this out – and not listen any further to your misrepresentations.

  4. Mike, you're wasting your time. These people are on the Christie RINO payroll doing what they do best, making up "facts" and then repeat them til naive reporters accept it as fact.

    Obviously Steve is getting under their skin really bad. Tell him to keep the pressure on. It's really pissing them off.

  5. While I agree that a cap and trade scheme is not ideal, it's not the only way by which to reduce gg emissions. A revenue-neutral carbon tax avoids the evasion and market manipulation of cap and trade, incentivizes "green" R&D AND returns the revenue to families already struggling under the weight of the current economic downturn. It doesn't have to be the environment OR the economy–we can do both with the solution the world's leading scientists and economists agree is best: with a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

  6. I totally agree Bobby. When I saw this article my first response was "What, did I miss something", then I realized it was another talking head playing with words. I then wondered how much Brian must love to read his written word and what grade he must have gotten in his rhetoric class.

    Yes Brian, your readers are smart enough to understand (or should I say Save Jersey readers) that a talking head, is a talking head, IS a talking head. Point being readers who have been with Matt all these years – and maybe the newer ones, have become way smarter then you give us credit for.

    NJ is still in RGGI, taking from the people to feed that hateful bucket called New Jersey's "General Fund" and all I see in this article is a RGGINO talking head.

    Yes, I saw the Governor on 60 Minutes and I'm not getting how you are relating NJ being in RGGI vs the state sucking its citizens dry to the point of death, oh..other then it is now stealing the RGGI funds too.

    We are grown up enough to deal with facts Brian, so again, facts not rhetoric please. Mike, don't waste your time.

Comments are closed.