Senate Sends Lower RGGI Cap To Governor

May 23, 2013

New Hampshire’s Senate has joined the House of Representatives and voted to ratchet down the cap on carbon dioxide restrictions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. Because of the historic rise of cleaner burning natural gas, it’s been easy for  carbon dioxide RGGI’s existing caps. So earlier this year, the RGGI board asked the member states to lower those caps by 45 percent.

Democrat Martha Fuller Clark told Senators that no one testified against the bill, but the Business and Industry Association said "it was necessary to move this bill forward now so the business community and the generators would have market and price certainty going forward."

But anything that increases electric rates is politically charged and 10 Republican Senators voted against the lower caps.

But if the rest of New England adopts the lower caps and New Hampshire doesn’t, the state could still be stuck with more expensive electricity but get none of the benefits, and so three republicans voted with Democrats to pass the bill.