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The New Jersey Business & Industry Association today testified against a bill (A-4701) that, if enacted, could lead to higher energy costs for businesses and consumers by imposing an unnecessary mandate that New Jersey rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Sara Bluhm, NJBIA’s vice president for Environment & Energy, told the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee that New Jersey’s energy generation sector is already among the cleanest in the nation, and by far the cleanest in the PJM, which coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in New Jersey and 13 other states.

“New Jersey does not need RGGI,” Bluhm said. “We are a leader in our own right in curbing emissions and producing clean power. Do not penalize our generation sector for their good work by adding additional compliance costs.”

Bluhm said New Jersey is already helping lower PJM’s CO2 emissions by building new baseload Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC) plants, which produce two to three times less C02 emissions than old coal-fired power plants in PJM.

Today, New Jersey’s electric generation plants are tied for 2nd in the nation for lowest sulfur dioxide (S02) emission rates; are 10th for lowest carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rates; and tied for first in the nation for lowest nitrogen oxide (N02) emission rates, Bluhm said.

“We don’t need to rejoin RGGI; we are already leading without additional costs to our power sector,” Bluhm told the committee.