New Jersey expresses interest in rejoining a regional climate change pact

 Electric power lines (Big Stock photo)

Electric power lines (Big Stock photo)

New Jersey lawmakers are trying again to get the state back into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Governor Christie pulled the state out of the program in 2011, saying it was an ineffective way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. He vetoed previous bills to force the state to resume participation.

Sara Bluhm with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association told lawmakers the state doesn’t need to get back in. “New Jersey is a leader on its own. We have the lowest emissions from our power plants of any state within our electric grid.”

Environment New Jersey director Doug O’Malley said resuming participation in the program would help fight carbon emissions and global warming.”The timing of this bill could not be more important because President Trump’s administration is going to move forward to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, and the Clean Power Plan is a national policy that was going to reduce emissions from our power plants.”

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Senate Environment Committee Chairman Bob Smith said the measure signals lawmakers’ intent, but he doesn’t expect Christie to sign it.

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