Governor Chris Christie’s decision to pull out of RGGI – New Jersey’s version of the Cap & Trade energy tax – was applauded today by the 24th District legislative team of Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, and Assemblyman Gary Chiusano. RGGI was rushed through the lame duck Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Jon Corzine in January 2008. Today’s action came after a year-long lobbying effort by grassroots conservatives.
“Governor Christie’s decision to repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, eliminates a large burden that will make New Jersey more friendly for businesses and affordable for consumers and homeowners,” said Senator Steve Oroho.
“A recent survey of business leaders found New Jersey is increasingly becoming more competitive and a friendlier place to do business, meaning the economic and regulatory policies put forth by the Governor and my Republican colleagues are working,” Oroho stated. “Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction and will continue to help make New Jersey an attractive place for businesses to locate, grow and create private sector jobs.”
Since the RGGI’s creation in 2008, the 24th District legislators have led the fight to repeal it – proposing both Senate (S-2250) and Assembly versions (A-3147) of the repeal legislation.
“This has been a long fight and it’s been a tough fight,” said McHose, who traveled across the state to attend rallies and press conferences to organize support for RGGI’s repeal. McHose said that RGGI was “flawed from the start” and that even the environmental lobby opposed its passage: “The New Jersey Sierra Club, Environment New Jersey, and the NJ Environmental Federation all testified that the RGGI program as enacted ‘failed to accomplish the stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting consumers from rate increases.'”
“This job-killing energy tax was recently cited as a reason for Ocean Spray moving its plant from Bordentown to Pennsylvania, which doesn’t have RGGI,” Chiusano noted. “We can’t afford to keep losing jobs to Pennsylvania and other states because of artificially-high energy costs. With Governor Christie’s leadership, New Jersey is leading the nation toward better environmental and economic policies that do what is correct, not what is politically correct.”
Their RGGI repeal legislation was the first to be proposed in the country, and has gained nearly enough sponsors in both legislative chambers – Republicans and Democrats – to repeal it now.
“We simply need the legislative leadership to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote,” McHose said. “Repeal is important so that a future Governor will not have the option of imposing this energy tax on New Jersey residents again. Let’s finish the fight and repeal RGGI once and for all.”