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The New Jersey Business & Industry Association issued the following statement in response to legislation before the Senate Environment and Energy Committee (S-661, S-874) today requiring New Jersey to rejoin and fully participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

“NJBIA strongly opposes New Jersey’s return to RGGI as we are already a leader in curbing emissions and producing clean power, and the additional compliance costs brought to our energy sector will likely be absorbed by our residents and businesses,” said Sara Bluhm, NJBIA vice president for Environment & Energy.

“New Jersey’s energy sector is already, by far, the cleanest in the PJM Region. Our sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rates are among some of the lowest in the country, and yet we already have the 10th highest retail electricity costs in the nation. A return to RGGI will increase those costs, but have little bearing on our emission rates.

“Much of our in-state power generation already comes from carbon-free nuclear energy and the replacement of coal throughout the state with cleaner natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Yet, New Jersey’s return to RGGI will not prevent us from receiving the emissions of upwind, non-RGGI states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, which have dirtier power sectors.

“New Jersey ratepayers already fund a program for renewable energy subsidies and can’t spend all of the collected dollars intended for energy efficiency and renewables. Increasing generation costs through a re-entry to RGGI will needlessly increase what New Jersey ratepayers are already paying.”