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Should NH leave RGGI?

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This week a House committee heard testimony on whether New Hampshire should withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Under RGGI, major emitters of carbon dioxide must purchase allowances.  The funds from those allowances are then used for energy efficiency projects and ratepayer rebates.  Eight other New England states participate.

Because the cost of allowances is reflected in higher electricity rates, RGGI opponents argue the program is essentially a hidden tax.

"It’s a redistribution of wealth," said bill sponsor Rep. Richard Barry (R-Merrimack). "It’s a carbon tax. Only those who know how to work the system are taking advantage of it, not local churches, pharmacies or small restaurants."

RGGI supporters argue that if New Hampshire pulls out of RGGI, the state will still be impacted by the cost of allowances in the regional energy market, but won't receive ratepayer rebates. 

RGGI also makes New Hampshire compliant with proposed federal carbon pollution regulations.


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