Chris Christie pulls New Jersey out of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Amanda Carey Contributor
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New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced Thursday he will withdrawal his state’s membership from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by the end of the year.

“It’s a failure,” said Christie. “RGGI has not changed behavior and it does not reduce emissions.”

The goal of RGGI — a ten-state cap and trade program — is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 10 percent by 2018. When utilities purchase their emission permits, the proceeds are supposed to go to investments for developing alternative energy sources.

Last year, however, Christie took $64 million from RGGI and put it in the state’s general fund to help get New Jersey’s fiscal house in order. And while Christie has floated a plan in the past to stay in RGGI simply to use the funds to pay down the debt, it apparently didn’t get very far.

New Jersey isn’t the only state to recently move toward withdrawing from RGGI – often pointed to by environmentalists as a cap and trade success story. In March, the New Hampshire state House also voted to withdraw.

Christie, however, has said he still believes in global warming, but is skeptical that it is entirely man made.