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New Jersey Misses Auction, Loses Another Opportunity on Greenhouse Gases

Date : Tue, 23 Sep 2008 12:44:55 -0400

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Tittel September 23, 2008 (609) 558-9100

New Jersey Misses Auction, Loses Another Opportunity on Greenhouse Gases

Today the auction for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will take place without the state of New Jersey. With New Jersey's RGGI Rules not yet adopted, the state will lose another opportunity to reduce greenhouse gases and fight global warming. "Once again instead of working to protect our environment and lower greenhouse gases, New Jersey is turning the Global Warming Response Act into just more hot air," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

The failure to participate in today's auction will cost New Jersey approximately $10-25 million that could have been used for energy efficiency, renewable energy, or to help the Department of Environmental Protection develop its greenhouse gas reduction programs. This loss of funding comes at a time when the economy is slow and research by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst shows that investment in these sectors could pump new life into it, bringing as many as 57,000 new jobs to the state. (See www.peri.umass.edu/green_recovery for more information.) With energy prices high, monies for efficiency programs would also help lower bills.

Though the state passed the landmark Global Warming Response Act in 2007, little has been done to move toward implementing the goals mandated by the act. Today's auction is part of a long series of missed opportunities and deadlines.

* The state has not done its greenhouse gas inventory or characterization, nor has it put forward a greenhouse gas reduction plan as required by the Global Warming Response Act.

* It has delayed selecting an applicant for the pilot project on offshore wind.

* The proposed Energy Master Plan is weak, promotes coal and nuclear power, and includes no plan for transportation.

* No new regulations for greenhouse gases have been proposed, and no new legislation, such as green building standards or appliance standards, has been passed.

Instead New Jersey has proposed widening our three major toll roads, extending the life of at least four coal plants, and building giant new power lines to bring in more dirty power from Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

"Our absence at today's auction is a sign of a bigger problem in implementing New Jersey's Global Warming Response Act," concluded Tittel. "If we are serious about protecting our citizens from the effects of global warming, we can't stop with just words - we need to take these opportunities to make our greenhouse gas reduction goals a reality."

##########

Becca Glenn, Program Assistant New Jersey Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618

609-656-7612: phone

609-656-7618: fax

Received on 2008-09-29 12:10:02

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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