Americans for Prosperity/New Jersey announced today a new, concentrated campaign against any further participation by New Jersey in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
For months AFP/NJ’s home page has mentioned the RGGI, under this headline:
Did you know New Jersey has cap and trade?
In fact, the RGGI states this goal on its home page:
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have capped and will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10% by 2018.
But fresh evidence casts new doubt on the effectiveness of the program, even if one grants the premise. According to New Jersey Watchdog, the December auction ended badly, with only 57 percent of carbon-emission permits sold. Indeed, NJ Watchdog says that the RGGI might not significantly affect carbon-dioxide emissions until at least 2030. More recently, NJ Watchdog has sued the State in an attempt to force discovery of the secrets of hits financing and money flows.
The next emissions-credit auction is in fact scheduled for March 9, 2011, with further auctions scheduled quarterly.
AFP/NJ, in their latest announcement, claims that continued participation will results in “less freedom, lost jobs, and more taxes.” They maintain a separate website with cap-and-trade news. Among other things, they allege, with persuasive evidence, that States are using funds from these auction sales to try to address their budget problems.
Legislation to end New Jersey participation in the RGGI is already pending. The prime sponsors include Senators Michael Doherty and Steve Oroho and Assembly Members Allison Littell McHose and Michael P. Carroll. Three of these four are the same ones who attempted to push Governor Chris Christie to cut his budget to a greater extent last year. AFP/NJ says that the repeal bills already have 35 cosponsors. (The Assembly has 80 members; the Senate 40.)
Steve Lonegan, head of AFP/NJ and former candidate for governor, said this:
Defeating cap-and-trade is Priority Number One for Americans for Prosperity. In the weeks and months ahead, we intend to elevate this issue and educate the public to the fact that RGGI is nothing less than a scam that rivals the sub-prime mortgage debacle.
He also said that one goal of his campaign is to educate the public, most of whom do not even know that New Jersey is under any sort of cap-and-trade scheme. A federal cap-and-trade scheme passed the House of Representatives in 2009 but stalled in the Senate.
The AFP media campaign includes radio and TV spots (the TV spot is embedded at left) and multiple seminars and other media events.
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