July 26, 2011
On July 25, over 200 business leaders from across the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions signed a letter to regional governors urging them to support and improve the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an agreement among 10 states to reduce emissions through a shared cap-and-trade framework. The letter follows New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision to withdraw his state from RGGI, as well as several similar but unsuccessful efforts in other states. It also arrives as officials from participating states prepare for RGGI’s 2012 Program Review, which will include a review of the stringency of the program.
In the letter, the business leaders explained, “We believe strong clean energy and clean-air policies create jobs and stimulate economic growth. By reducing spending on out-of-region fossil fuels, RGGI improves energy security and economic competitiveness and frees up energy dollars for spending in other parts of our economies."
The letter, coordinated by the New England Clean Energy Council, urges state governors to (1) update the emissions cap to create more effective pricing signals and achieve additional GHG reductions; and (2) take steps to increase the scope of program beyond the 10 states by coordinating with other state and regional energy and climate programs.