N.J. quitting regional effort to control greenhouse gases

    New Jersey is pulling out of the 10-state regional program created to reduce carbon-dioxide pollution. Gov. Chris Christie said the Garden State will withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, by the end of the year.”This program is not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future,” said ChristieEnvironmentalists are upset with Christie’s decision. New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel insisted the program has reduced emissions in the state.”What happens without RGGI, it means we’re going to have more pollution in New Jersey and less funding for a green environment,” Tittel said.”Greenhouse gas emissions are down in New Jersey,” said Christie. “Reduced emissions have been due to the increased use of natural gas and the decreased use of coal. We’re seeing that the market and not RGGI has created incentives to reduce the use of carbon-based fuels.”Federal environmental regulators are urging Christie to reconsider his decision.
Brendan Gilfillan, a spokesman for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, says the program helps reduce air pollution, promotes clean energy and creates jobs.Assemblyman John McKeon, chairman of the Assembly environment committee, said the governor’s decision is short-sighted.”Even if you don’t want to argue the environmental impact and the significance of it, just from the perspective of the creation of green jobs that everybody waxes so poetically about, this kind of takes the engine … away from moving the economy in the right direction,” said McKeon.An official with the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce says pulling out of the program will reduce energy costs.Christie said he will push for cleaner energy in New Jersey by encouraging the development of more wind, solar, and nuclear power.

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