Sign on letter to Gov. Christie in support of RGGI

From business owners and managers, civic and faith-based leaders, environmentalists, local public officials and others
Environment New Jersey
Last updated: 2/20/2012

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE

 From business owners and managers, civic and faith-based leaders, environmentalists, local public officials and others

 ***(To add your group, email Dan DeRosa at Environment New Jersey: dderosa@environmentnewjersey.org by MARCH 10th- PLEASE GIVE US A NAME, GROUP, AND  CONTACT INFO INCLUDING PHONE, E-MAIL AND ADDRESS WHEN YOU SIGN ON )

New Jersey took an important step in 2007 and joined 10 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to form the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  This innovative program is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and in turn reduce global warming and other air pollution, cut energy costs for consumers and businesses, and create good-paying local jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. Launched by former Governor George Pataki (R-NY), the program brought together a wide array of business, consumer, and environmental stakeholders, as well as state officials.

 The plan worked. A recent report[1] found that RGGI is achieving its goals and more.  Due in part to its programs, global warming pollution in the region is down 15%-30% since it launched.  And RGGI is directly responsible for creating or saving almost 18,000 jobs.  Overall, because of RGGI, the economy in the region has grown by more than $2.3 billion. With across-the-board benefits like these, it’s not hard to see why there is bipartisan support for the program in all 10 participating states.

 In New Jersey alone, the program has delivered real benefits to the environment and the economy.  Companies that receive RGGI funds have been able to make energy efficiency improvements or build on-site clean energy projects.  These projects help companies save energy and money and also support local jobs, putting people to work retrofitting buildings or installing solar arrays and other projects.  Just the first 12 RGGI-funded projects in New Jersey helped in-state businesses generate over 167,000 megawatt hours of clean energy per year – equal to the amount of energy consumed by 19,600 households per year – and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 84,000 metric tons.

Nautilus Solar WPU LLC received a grant from the NJ Economic Development Authority to install one of the largest solar energy facilities at a university in the U.S.  Based at William Paterson University, the array will save the university $4.3 million over the next 15 years.  Another company, Mejor Betty LLC, received a loan to purchase solar panels for its 400,000 sq. ft. commercial building in Elizabeth.  The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11,671 metric tons over its lifetime.

With RGGI's help, projects like these have helped New Jersey companies cut energy costs while reducing their carbon footprint.  In addition to its direct economic benefits, RGGI has also helped lead to hundreds of clean energy businesses - both large and small - starting up, expanding or moving to New Jersey.  These companies employ thousands of New Jersey citizens in the growing clean energy market.  This has helped position New Jersey as a hub in the emerging national clean energy economy, which will continue to bring more investment and jobs to the state.

As business owners and managers, environmentalists, civic and faith-based leaders, we believe RGGI is a crucial policy enabling New Jersey to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while spurring a clean energy economy.  Governor Christie, we urge you to stand with us in support of this beneficial program, work in cooperation with other RGGI stakeholders to make the program as successful as possible, and ensure that New Jersey continues to lead the way toward a clean energy future. 

 

RGGI Letter signatories:

 

Julie & Fred Akers, Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association

Marcia Aronoff, Sr. VP for Programs, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

Sandy Batty, Executive Director, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC)

Brian Bovio, Chapter Co-Chair, Efficiency First NJ[2]

Lucy Vandenberg, Executive Director, PlanSmartNJ

Barbara Brummer, State Director, The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey

Rosemary Dreger Carey, Chair, Pascack Sustainability Group

Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, The Delaware Riverkeeper Network

William deCamp Jr., President, Save Barnegat Bay

Pastor Matthew Cimorelli, Reformation Lutheran Church

Tim Dillingham, Executive Director, American Littoral Society

Cindy Ehrenclou, Executive Director, Upper Raritan Watershed Association

Matt Elliott, Clean Energy Advocate, Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center

Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith

Rob Freudenberg, New Jersey Director, Regional Plan Association

Allyson Gall, NJ Area Director, American Jewish Committee

Carrie Hitt, President, The Solar Alliance[3]                    

Michael Hornsby, Chair, West Windsor Environmental Commission and Township Council

Fred Hutchinson, Director, Air Conditioning Contractors of America NJ (ACCA-NJ), South Jersey Chapter

Rhonda Jackson, Director Communications & Outreach, Fishermen's Energy of New Jersey, LLC

Jeffrey J. Jotz, President, Rahway River Association

Peter Kasabach, Executive Director, New Jersey Future

William Kibler, Executive Director, South Branch Watershed Association

Charles Latini, President, American Planning Association, NJ Chapter

­Mark MaGrann, President & CEO, MaGrann Associates

Deborah Mans, Baykeeper & Executive Director, NY/NJ Baykeeper

Luis Martinez, Director, State Climate Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Alison Mitchell, Director of Policy, NJ Conservation Foundation

Carleton Montgomery, Executive Director, Pinelands Preservation Alliance

Pamela Mount, Chair, NJ League of Municipalities, Mayors' Committee for a Green Future

J. Scott Needham, President, Princeton Air Conditioning, Inc.

Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Dept. of

       Geosciences and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

David Pringle, Campaign Director, New Jersey Environmental Federation

Joe Reynolds & Jim Walsh, Co-Chairs, Bayshore Regional Watershed Council

Harriet Shugarman, North Jersey Public Policy Network

Kate Slevin, Executive Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Julia Somers, Executive Director, NJ Highlands Coalition

Eric Stiles, COO, NJ Audubon Society

Jeff Tittel, State Director, Sierra Club-NJ Chapter

Jim Waltman, Executive Director, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

Elizabeth Weiner, Mid-Atlantic Policy Director, Conservation Services Group

Cindy Zipf, Executive Director, Clean Ocean Action

[1] “Investment of Proceeds from RGGI CO2 Allowances:” http://www.rggi.org/docs/Investment_of_RGGI_Allowance_Proceeds.pdf

[2]  Efficiency First is a national nonprofit trade association that unites the Home Performance workforce, building product manufacturers and related businesses and organizations in the fight against global warming and rising energy costs.

 

[3] The Solar Alliance is a 501c (6) trade association representing 31 manufacturers, developers, installers and financing companies that provide equipment and services to all customer segments.

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