Saturday, January 27, 2018

New Jersey, Virginia Take Steps Toward Joining East Coast Carbon Market

As Trump rolls back federal climate policies, states are taking up the challenge to control greenhouse gas emissions themselves.

New Jersey's new governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, plans to bring his state back into RGGI, the East Coast's carbon trading market. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
With federal policies to control greenhouse gas emissions in limbo, more states are taking steps toward putting a price on carbon pollution.

New Jersey moved closer to re-joining the East Coast's carbon cap-and-trade system this week when the state Senate's Environment and Energy Committee passed a bill to restore the state's role in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI, the nation's first cap-and-trade program, launched in 2009.

Newly elected Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has pledged to support the bill.  His predecessor, Chris Christie, had pulled the state out as he positioned himself to run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Virginia, another swing state where Democrats have strengthened their hand, is also looking to join RGGI.  If that happens, the addition would increase the size of the carbon market by more than 40 percent due to the large number of coal-fired power plants in the state.  But legislative action there on carbon emissions hit a stumbling block in a committee vote this week, indicating that political support there is shakier.

Read more at New Jersey, Virginia Take Steps Toward Joining East Coast Carbon Market

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