New Hampshire Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Carbon Pollution

Media Contacts

Environment New Hampshire

Today, the New Hampshire Senate passed a bill to authorize New Hampshire’s continued involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional compact of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that limits carbon pollution from power plants. In February, New Hampshire and eight other states announced a new agreement to make deeper cuts in power plant carbon emissions that would lead to a 20 percent reduction in those emissions over the next decade. The legislation passed by a vote of 14-10 and which has passed the House of Representatives, will allow New Hampshire to stay in the improved regional program.

“In the wake of Winter Storm Nemo, Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, New Hampshire must double-down on its commitment to lead our country in reducing the pollution that’s warming the planet and changing our climate, said Johanna Neumann of Environment New Hampshire. “We applaud the Senators who have stepped up to support this bill.”

The proposal announced today would cap the region’s power plant emissions at current annual emission levels (91 million tons). The cap would take effect in 2014 and tighten, requiring emission reductions of 2.5 percent per year. Revenues from pollution permits has been invested in energy efficiency measures. Recent analyses have also shown RGGI has produced a $1.6 billion economic boost to the region through 2011 that strengthening RGGI could produce an additional $8 billion in economic benefits. [2]

There was broad support from a broad range of stakeholder for strengthening the program. Last year, a coalition of more than 300 environmental and public health organizations, consumer advocates, and clean energy and mainstream businesses sent a letter to the states’ governors. The letter highlighted RGGI’s success to date and called for strengthening the program’s pollution reduction targets, and increasing investment in clean energy and energy efficiency measures that benefit the climate, the economy, public health and energy consumers.

“Strengthening programs such as RGGI is a win-win for New Hampshire,” said Neuman “Our report shows that pursuing strong reductions in emissions can help grow our clean energy economy. New Hampshire is ready to commit to improving our climate and energy programs.”

[2] Paul J. Hibbard, et al., Analysis Group, The Economic Impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on Ten Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, 15 November 2011.