Article

New Jersey to fill budget gap with RGGI cash

Newly-elected Republican Governor Chris Christie announced proceeds from the northeastern US cap-and-trade programme's quarterly allowance auctions would be used to plug the budget deficit, details of which were released yesterday. New Jersey has raised $64.5 million in proceeds from the sale of emission allowances in the scheme's seven auctions, which were held on a quarterly basis since late 2008.

New Jersey will use RGGI auction proceeds to balance a $10.7 billion deficit for fiscal year 2011.

Newly-elected Republican Governor Chris Christie announced proceeds from the northeastern US cap-and-trade programme's quarterly allowance auctions would be used to plug the budget deficit, details of which were released yesterday.

New Jersey has raised $64.5 million in proceeds from the sale of emission allowances in the scheme's seven auctions, which were held on a quarterly basis since late 2008.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the only mandatory greenhouse gas cap-and-trade scheme in the US, seeks to cap and reduce emissions from the electric sector in 10 northeastern states.

The proceeds that members raise from holding quarterly allowance auctions are supposed to be used for developing state energy efficiency and clean energy programmes.

Some auction proceeds are also allowed to be used for helping low-income families pay for any increase in electricity bills resulting from RGGI's implementation.

Environmental backlash

Environmental groups criticised the governor for taking money away from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the state.

"New Jersey's clean energy money is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

New Jersey will use RGGI auction proceeds to balance a $10.7 billion deficit for fiscal year 2011.

Newly-elected Republican Governor Chris Christie announced proceeds from the northeastern US cap-and-trade programme's quarterly allowance auctions would be used to plug the budget deficit, details of which were released yesterday.

New Jersey has raised $64.5 million in proceeds from the sale of emission allowances in the scheme's seven auctions, which were held on a quarterly basis since late 2008.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the only mandatory greenhouse gas cap-and-trade scheme in the US, seeks to cap and reduce emissions from the electric sector in 10 northeastern states.

The proceeds that members raise from holding quarterly allowance auctions are supposed to be used for developing state energy efficiency and clean energy programmes.

Some auction proceeds are also allowed to be used for helping low-income families pay for any increase in electricity bills resulting from RGGI's implementation.

Environmental backlash

Environmental groups criticised the governor for taking money away from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the state.

"New Jersey's clean energy money is not a cash cow that exists to plug the budget deficit. Raiding it won't solve the state's structural budget problems," said Matt Elliott, advocate for Environment New Jersey.

New Jersey is not the first member state of RGGI to divert funds raised by the auctions away from clean energy projects.

New York passed a bill in December enabling the state to use $90 million in RGGI funds to plug its $5 billion budget gap.

New Jersey is also reducing funding for its Office of Climate Change and Energy, which is responsible for implementing the state's greenhouse gas reduction act.

The office is primarily funded by RGGI auction proceeds.

New Jersey's Global Warming Response Act seeks to limit New Jersey's greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 per cent below 2006 levels by 2050.

Editor's note: Time to call RGGI what it is, a tax on energy.


Source: http://www.pointcarbon.com/...

MAR 18 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/25221-new-jersey-to-fill-budget-gap-with-rggi-cash
back to top