Gov. Lynch Urges House Committee to Support Bill Allowing New Hampshire to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

CONCORD, January 10, 2008 – Gov. Lynch today urged legislators to approve a proposal to allow New Hampshire to join the rest of the region in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saying it is the right thing to do for New Hampshire’s citizens, economy and environment.

Gov. Lynch testified before the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee in support of legislation (HB 1434) that would allow New Hampshire to enact the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is part of an overall effort to reduce harmful pollution that causes climate change and to promote the use of cleaner energy. Gov. Lynch signed onto the bipartisan agreement with other governors in 2005, and New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services played an integral role in developing the initiative.

“I believe strongly there should be national action and a national energy policy that addresses these issues. But I also do not believe that New Hampshire can afford to wait for national action – and we are not waiting,” Gov. Lynch said.

The Initiative uses a flexible market-based program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-burning plants. The nine states in the Northeast who have committed to RGGI have agreed to set statewide caps on emissions from power plants. Also, the research has shown the initiative will lead to greater energy efficiency, which will save New Hampshire ratepayers money in the long run.

“We are dedicating ourselves here in New Hampshire to reducing the pollution that causes global warming and climate change, and joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a major part of that effort. Moving forward with this legislation makes sense because cutting our greenhouse gas pollution is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our citizens, the health of our environment, and our economy,” Gov. Lynch said.

“In addition, our nine neighboring states are already committed to moving forward with RGGI. We must be a partner with them, or risk getting left behind. We will be affected by RGGI – whether we officially agree or not. The policies established by the initiative will impact us, and our energy market, here in New Hampshire,” Gov. Lynch said. “We should make sure our citizens reap its full benefits.”

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