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NJDEP announces action plan to rejoin RGGI

In furtherance of affirmative steps taken to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program, NJDEP announced its intention to propose regulations in accordance with the program and to “participate in the regional RGGI auctions, starting in early 2020 for carbon pollution credits…[.]” Although NJ was one of the first states to join the RGGI program, which is aimed at reducing the impact of climate change, former NJ Governor Chris Christie unilaterally pulled NJ out of the program. Despite a successful lawsuit initiated by Environment New Jersey, challenging Christie’s decision to pull out of RGGI without a regulatory hearing, NJ still remained detached from the program until current governor Phil Murphy took office. The recent proposals offered by NJDEP included a 18 million metric ton/year carbon emissions cap starting in 2020, which would reduce NJ carbon emissions by 11.5 million metric tons in 2030. In states that participate in the RGGI program, “carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants have been reduced by 50 percent since 2005 with $3 billion in net economic benefits, including the creation of 30,000 more jobs.”

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