RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) is a localized version of cap and trade, which the Congress has refused to adopt because the coal, oil and gas industries persuaded the majority that it would not only destroy them, but be sure to fail -- increasing energy costs and bleeding us all dry. RGGI is an experiment which is probably what drew the attention of Koch Industries to our part of the nation. Perhaps they would have bought out Georgia Pacific and closed down the alternative fuel plants in Maine and Georgia, anyway, but they probably wouldn't have sent Americans for Prosperity to "take out" our Congressional delegation, if the RGGI demonstration project in New England hadn't been a success.
The Kochs' multi-pronged attack which turned the New Hampshire legislature from blue to red produced a repeal of our participation in RGGI, which Governor Lynch considered it prudent to veto. His message is worth noting by everyone who's interested in energy policy.
Governor Lynch's Veto Message Regarding SB 154
By the authority vested in me, pursuant to part II, Article 44 of the New Hampshire Constitution, on July 6, 2011, I vetoed SB154, repealing New Hampshire's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
RGGI was created as a bipartisan initiative in New Hampshire, and across the Northeast, to address shared economic and environmental concerns. Here in New Hampshire, Republicans, Democrats and Independents worked together to develop a two-part strategy: help families and businesses reduce their energy use through RGGI and increase our supplies of homegrown renewable energy through the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
I am vetoing this legislation because it will cost our citizens jobs, both now and into the future, hinder our economic recovery, and damage our state's long-term economic competitiveness.
According to an independent assessment of the program conducted by the University of New Hampshire, the cumulative impact of the initiative through the end of 2010 has been a net benefit of over $16 million in allowance revenue. These are funds that have been invested directly in helping New Hampshire families, businesses and local governments become more energy efficient, reduce costs, and create jobs.
This bill would have ended those energy efficiency efforts - eliminating jobs today and eliminating efforts to help businesses and families cut their energy use. Given that energy is a major cost factor for businesses, ending our energy efficiency programs would also hurt our efforts to bring new companies and jobs to New Hampshire.
In addition, because New Hampshire is part of a regional electricity system, if this legislation were to become law, New Hampshire ratepayers would continue to pay part of the cost of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but would no longer receive any benefit from the allowance auction revenue. SB 154 would effectively cause New Hampshire ratepayers to pay higher electric rates to subsidize efforts to reduce energy costs in other states.
RGGI continues to have bipartisan support today because it is helping to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs, and helping our businesses save money and become more competitive. I believe that we should continue that progress. Therefore, I am vetoing this legislation.
You'd think that people who have been permitted to deplete our natural resources (digging up the earth's crust, turning it into gas and sending it into the atmosphere is depletion par excellence) would have just a smidgen of gratitude and content themselves with the wealth they've amassed. But no. Exploitation seems to be addictive and the exploiters of mother nature can never get enough. So, there has to be an intervention. Somebody, lots of somebodies (mothers?), have got to just say 'no.'
Addendum: It is perhaps worth noting that when theSeabrook Station was proposed in 1976, it was projected that electricity consumption would increase 7% per year -- i.e. doubling every ten years. Instead, in the almost thirty years from 1980 to 2008, electric production in the U.S. has less than doubled, including the constant percentage that goes to waste because of the inherent inefficiency of steam conversion plants. It is this obvious lack of demand which accounts for the failure to fund the building of new plants.