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Conn. to sign emissions accord

After briefly wavering, Governor M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut yesterday agreed to sign onto a multistate greenhouse gas pact that Massachusetts and Rhode Island rejected Wednesday.

Rell praised the pact, saying it will protect consumers from sharp energy cost increases -- a distinct departure from governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Donald L. Carcieri of Rhode Island who said the agreement contained no price guarantees. A spokesman for Rell did not disclose her reasons for waiting a day before agreeing to commit to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Romney and Carcieri faced criticism from other politicians, environmentalists, and other states yesterday for pulling out of the deal, although a business trade group praised Romney for his decision.

''The governor should be commended for realizing the cost of [the pact] was too uncertain," said Robert Rio, vice president of government affairs for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of employers in the Bay State.

The pact would freeze power plant carbon dioxide emissions and then reduce them by 10 percent by 2020. New York officials are expected to make a formal announcement of the pact next week, which in addition to Connecticut, also includes Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Yesterday, officials from some of the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Rell praised the pact, saying it will protect consumers from sharp energy cost increases -- a distinct departure from governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Donald L. Carcieri of Rhode Island who said the agreement contained no price guarantees. A spokesman for Rell did not disclose her reasons for waiting a day before agreeing to commit to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

 
Romney and Carcieri faced criticism from other politicians, environmentalists, and other states yesterday for pulling out of the deal, although a business trade group praised Romney for his decision.

 
''The governor should be commended for realizing the cost of [the pact] was too uncertain," said Robert Rio, vice president of government affairs for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of employers in the Bay State.

 
The pact would freeze power plant carbon dioxide emissions and then reduce them by 10 percent by 2020. New York officials are expected to make a formal announcement of the pact next week, which in addition to Connecticut, also includes Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Delaware, and New Jersey.

 
Yesterday, officials from some of the seven states involved in the pact said that they did all they could to appease Massachusetts and Rhode Island but that in the end the proposed concessions would have undermined the pact.

 
''We spent a lot of time over the last several weeks -- a lot of time -- making significant modifications with the intent of keeping [Massachusetts and Rhode Island] in," said Jeanne M. Fox, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. ''We thought we were successful, we did address their concerns."

 
Fox and other state officials said they hope Massachusetts and Rhode Island join in the future.

 
''Although we are extremely disappointed, we cannot let that detract from what we are about to accomplish here," said Mike Bertrand, deputy legal counsel for Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont, calling the pact ''bold, courageous, and historic."

Source: http://www.boston.com/news/...

DEC 16 2005
http://www.windaction.org/posts/718-conn-to-sign-emissions-accord
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