New Hampshire Joins Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Gov. John Lynch recently signed a law allowing New Hampshire to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

"With this legislation, we are taking a major step forward in protecting our economy and our natural resources by reducing pollution and increasing energy efficiency," Lynch said. "Pollution and climate change threaten our state's environment, our health, and our economy. Here in New Hampshire we are dedicating ourselves to reducing the pollution that causes global warming and climate change, and joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is an important part of that effort."

The initiative is a 10-state effort to cut the emissions that cause global warming. In 2005, Lynch signed onto the bipartisan agreement with other governors creating the initiative. It uses a flexible market-based program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-burning plants. The 10 states in the Northeast who have committed to the program agreed to set a region-wide cap on emissions from power plants.

"I believe strongly there should be national action and a national energy policy that addresses these issues," the governor said. "But I also do not believe that New Hampshire can afford to wait for national action. We must lead, and that is what we are doing."

In addition, the action makes financial sense. Research conducted by the University of New Hampshire found that ratepayers will save money in the long run by joining the initiative and investing its proceeds in energy efficiency. If the state had failed to join the initiative, the research found, it would have seen higher costs in both the short- and long-term, without offsetting savings.

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