The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative announced today it sold $41.6 million in carbon dioxide allowances on Wednesday in its first quarterly auction since New Jersey’s official withdrawal from the cap-and-trade program. The announcement was made one day after the Senate passed a bill that would require the state to rejoin the multistate compact.
The bill, if it makes it through the Assembly, could have a hard time getting through Gov. Chris Christie, who shot down a similar bill in the last Legislative session.
“We are trying to get the governor to do the right thing, which is to continue New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which will bring — over the longer term — hundreds of millions of dollars to the state for alternate energy development,” said state Sen. Bob Smith (D-Piscataway).
Smith said RGGI funds could help grow the state’s solar industry and move the nation closer to energy independence.
Last May, Christie announced the state would pull out of RGGI, saying a Department of Environmental Protection analysis determined the program wasn’t effective in lowering emissions.
The states that participated in Wednesday’s auction were Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.