Tuesday, January 7, 2014

NJ enviros get their day in court over RGGI withdrawal


New Jersey Superior Court's Appellate Division will hear arguments tomorrow morning in Trenton on whether the Christie Administration illegally repealed the rules implementing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a pioneering regional agreement to limit carbon pollution from power plants. 
The program was developed by New Jersey and nine other northeastern states in 2005 and first implemented in 2009. In May 2011, Gov. Christie unilaterally withdrew New Jersey from the program--the only state to leave the regional collaboration. 

Environment New Jersey and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed the lawsuit 20 months ago, claiming that the Christie Administration never gave the public an official opportunity to voice their opinion on the repeal of the rules implementing the landmark program.
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The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is a cap-and-trade program adopted by nine Eastern states in which power companies must purchase credits through public auctions for every ton of carbon their plants emit while generating electricity. Revenue from the sale of credits goes to the states to invest in renewable energy programs. 
The January 8 hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the 5th Floor Appellate Court Chambers of the Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton.
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