Don't reverse RGGI
November 16. 2017 8:30PM
To the Editor: If HB 592 passes, it would effectively reverse the progress made by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. It would mean revenues from RGGI would no longer go toward utility-run energy efficiency programs that save money and energy while reducing emissions.
The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee voted in favor of the bill 11-10. Republican Rep. Herbert Richardson from Lancaster broke from his party voting against the bill, claiming the vote was “all political” and he was “ashamed of (his) party”.
The divide between the aisle has become increasingly vast, but it must stop if we are going to make progress toward achieving a safe environment and a healthy economy. Epping Rep. Michael Vose’s amendment to HB 592 may have won over the majority in the committee, but thankfully the full House and the Senate are unlikely to agree. The Senate Republican leadership has rejected these types of bills from the House before. HB 592 is not a good bill. We would still be paying regionally into RGGI while not receiving the revenues, job creation, or robust economic activity.
Despite the possible blow to the consumer friendly and fiscally solid program, the closeness of the vote and the resolve of the Senate is encouraging. Perhaps we are breaking a trend. Perhaps in New Hampshire, our representatives will put aside partisanship for smart programs that work for people and the environment.
Chapter chair, NH Sierra Club