NH House passes RGGI Repeal
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(CONCORD) The New Hampshire House has voted overwhelmingly to pull the state out of the three-year old Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Today’s 251-108 vote is the second time the House has called for repeal of the ten-state compact designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants. The chamber approved HB 519, which end the Granite State’s participation in the program, by a vote of 246-104 on February 23rd, but the bill was sent to the House Finance Committee to determine its impact on state coffers.
Since the program’s start in 2008, New Hampshire has received over $31 million in revenues from the sale of carbon dioxide credits. Five power plants in the state will need to secure enough credits by next spring to cover every ton of CO2 they’ve released from 2009 to 2011. The RGGI repeal bill would end New Hampshire participation in the program before the start of the next three year compliance period, 2012-2014.
The bill next heads to the New Hampshire Senate, where its fate is far from certain. Republicans hold a veto-proof 19-5 majority in the chamber, but several Senate Republicans supported the initial adoption of RGGI. HB 519 would need 16 votes to overcome an expected veto from Governor John Lynch.
The Josiah Bartlett Center’s report RGGI in New Hampshire: The First Two Years documented how carbon auction proceeds have been spent in the Granite State, with much of the proceeds going to private business, including Stonyfield Yogurt and Dartmouth College.
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