Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Jersey, RGGI, and Republicans

A month ago I wrote about overallocation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Intiative (RGGI).  I mentioned that in addition to its overallocation problem, RGGI has had threats of withdrawals from New Hampshire and New Jersey. Last Friday, it became very likely that Governor Christie will indeed pull New Jersey out at the end of 2011.  He vetoed a bill (S. 2946) that the New Jersey legislature passed to try to block him from doing so. Christie's stated reasons for leaving RGGI are that it is ineffective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that it is raising the price of electricity (but see a good critique of the latter reason here).   

Perhaps there is a silver lining: Christie accompanied his veto with a statement acknowledging that climate change is real and that human activity “plays a role” in it.  He thus joins the thin ranks of Republicans with a national profile who are crazy enough to trust scientists, in the words of presidental candidate Jon Huntsman. 

But I must wonder whether Republicans like Christie and Huntsman are standing firmly on the safe side of the climate abyss (see below) or trying to stand in the middle?  Now that they acknowledge the problem of climate change, what policies do they actually support to address it?Falling into the abyss 

- Lesley McAllister



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