To great fanfare, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) announced that New Jersey would be pulling out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the northeastern cap-and-trade system for reducing global warming pollution and increasing green investment. There was only one problem — Christie doesn’t actually have the unilateral authority to withdraw his state from the compact. He is attempting to overturn by fiat the clear language of legislation passed in 2007 mandating New Jersey’s involvement. Today, the New Jersey Senate moved legislation out of committee that would reaffirm the intent of the existing law Christie wants to overturn:
This Legislature declares that Governor Christie’s decision to withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), announced on May 26, 2011, is inconsistent with the intent of the Legislature as expressed in the “Global Warming Response Act,” P.L.2007, c.112 (C.26:2C-37 et al.), and P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-45 et al.), known as the “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative” or “RGGI” implementing law.
The legislation now goes to the full Senate for a vote. The sister bill in the lower house has also passed out of committee.