RELEASE: How Leaving RGGI Leaves New Jersey Behind

Washington, D.C. — With the unilateral—and subsequently illegal—abandonment of New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, Gov. Chris Christie (R) has singlehandedly cost his state millions in lost revenue and reduced his state’s ability to lower dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. These are the findings of research done by Danielle Baussan, the Center for American Progress’ Managing Director of Energy Policy.

In a column released today, titled “How Leaving RGGI Leaves New Jersey Behind,” Baussan argues that in giving up the plot to remove New Jersey from RGGI would be a simple and effective way for New Jersey to implement proposed carbon-pollution limits while strengthening the state’s economy.

“In its first six years, RGGI raised more than $100 million in revenue for New Jersey before Gov. Christie illegally withdrew from the program,” Baussan said. “Instead of seeking to legitimize his decision to leave RGGI, Gov. Christie should do what is in the best interest of the state and its residents and bring New Jersey back into the newly strengthened program.”

Baussan points to ways that participation in RGGI would help the state’s economy and the bottom lines of New Jersey residents.

  • Participation in RGGI can lower energy bills for New Jersey residents through revenue invested in energy efficiency, direct bill assistance, and other programs.
  • The newly strengthened program recently generated almost $100 million for RGGI states and more than $1.6 billion during the life of the program. That is revenue that can be used to invest in a number of ways including in renewable energy or, as New Jersey has done, deficit reduction.
  • It will incentivize the reduction of carbon pollution which will have an effect on the health of residents and lower the cost of health care.

Click here to read the column.

For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic contact Tom Caiazza at tcaiazza@americanprogress.org or 202.481.7141.