Thursday, January 15, 2015

Energy, environment bills in committee today in Trenton

An old political chestnut will be roasted for the umpteenth time today in the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee (2 p.m., Room 9, State House Annex).

A-1763, sponsored by Assemblyman John McKeon, (D-Essex); and  its identical Senate counterpart, S-151, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester), would clarify that a law passed in 2007 requires the state's participation in the multistate, carbon-fighting compact called RGGI (pronounced Reggie, formally, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative).

Republican Chris Christie yanked New Jersey from RGGI early in his first administration and the Democratic-controlled Legislature has been crying foul ever since.

The bill has passed both houses on several occasions only to be vetoed by Christie who surely would veto it again were it to reach his desk.

Christie says RGGI serves little purpose other than to force an additional tax on New Jersey utilities and their customers. Democratic lawmakers, like McKeon and Sweeney, disagree, claiming RGGI has been helpful in reducing greenhouse gases and generating funds for green energy and other projects in participating states.

The rest of today's lineup:
 
 A-2514  McKeon, J.F. (D-27)
Allows installation of solar arrays by municipalities on preserved open space in certain circumstances.
Related Bill: S-1138
    
A-3548  Schaer, G.S. (D-36); Spencer, L.G. (D-29); Simon, D.M. (R-16)
Requires local governments and authorities to obtain financing cost estimate required to be provided by NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust for certain projects.
Related Bill: S-2354
      
A-3583  Eustace, T.J. (D-38)
Prohibits retrofitting diesel-powered vehicles to increase particulate emissions for the purpose of "coal rolling"; prohibits the practice of "coal rolling".
Related Bill: S-2418
    
S-1138  Codey, R.J. (D-27)
Allows installation of solar arrays by municipalities on preserved open space in certain circumstances.
Related Bill: A-2514
 
S-2418  Greenstein, L.R. (D-14); Gordon, R.M. (D-38)
Prohibits retrofitting diesel-powered vehicles to increase particulate emissions for the purpose of "coal rolling"; prohibits the practice of "coal rolling".
Related Bill: A-3583
 
 
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