The following is a letter to the editor, edited only for style:
Governor Christie’s decision to pull New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a mistake that will harm our effort to reduce air pollution and to boost our economy.
RGGI (Pronounced “Reggie”) is the nation’s first mandatory market-based program to reduce CO2 emissions and is one of our strongest anti-pollution laws. RGGI aims to cap global warming pollution from power plants, make polluters pay, and invest those payments in clean energy programs to further reduce pollution and grow the economy.
Clearly, RGGI has worked. Global warming pollution and other toxic emissions have been cut across the participating northeastern states, and New Jersey is on track to cut 84,000 tons of global warming pollution each year.
Quarterly auctions of CO2 credits in the RGGI states have raised $952 million since 2009, 80 percent of which has funded programs that promote energy efficiency and provide assistance for low income households. New Jersey’s participation has yielded $151 million in economic benefits over the past three years, including the creation of 1,700 jobs.
The Senate Bill S1322 and Assembly Bill A1998 are out of committee and are expected to be voted on Thursday, March 15. The League of Women Voters encourages the public to contact State Sen. Jennifer Beck (732-933-1598 in Red Bank) and Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (732-671-3206 in Middletown) and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (732-787-1170 in Middletown) and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (732-583-5558 in Matawan), Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (732-531-1045 in Ocean) and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (732-866-1695 in Freehold) and let them know that you feel that RGGI is worth beneficial and worth keeping.
For the email contacts, go to the web sites of the individual legislator and use the “Contact” route.
Barbara J. Chaudhery, co-president Greater Red Bank League of Women Voters
To learn more about the Greater Red Bank chapter of the League of Women Voters, visit the league website at www.lwvnj.org/redbank.