Monday, March 24, 2014

In New Jersey, playing that ole RGGI song once more

James Marvin Phelps photo

"Once there was a silly old ram

Thought he'd punch a hole in a dam 
No one could make that ram, scram
He kept buttin that dam"

   - Frank Sinatra's 'High Hopes' 

For what seems like the umpteenth time, Democratic legislators in New Jersey will try again on Thursday to butt a hole in Republican Governor Chris Christie's veto of legislation requiring New Jersey to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

In May 2011, Christie unilaterally yanked the state from the 10-state compact that aims to reduce global warming greenhouse gases by placing a carbon tax on power plant emissions.

Christie declared the program to be ineffective and said it penalized businesses and other energy customers in New Jersey who already pay some of the highest energy rates in the country. 

Environmentalists kicked up their heels, claiming Christie was kowtowing to right-wing, fossil fuel interests that control which Republican candidate gets campaign funding support in future presidential campaigns.

But, as NJ Spotlight's Tom Johnson explains today, "legislative efforts to force New Jersey back into the program have proved fruitless, with Christie twice vetoing bills to that end." 

Democrats hold a majority in both houses and could pass the legislation again.

Will a third time prove the charm?

Not unless you believe the one about the Ant and the Rubber Tree Plant.

The governor has never gone back on a veto and his Republican colleagues in the legislature are unlikely to offer their political opponents the necessary votes for an override.    

But you've got to give the enviros credit for trying.  Cue High Hopes, Mister DJ. 

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