Empty Climate Policies Advance in New York, New Hampshire

by William Yeatman on June 19, 2008

In New York last week, Senator Thomas Morahan (R-Rockland) introduced S. 8390, the “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Control Act,” which calls for an 80 percent reduction in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. An identical version of the bill already was passed by the State Assembly. Like similar climate laws passed in California and Washington, the “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Control Act” omits real policy, and instead delegates the task of planning future emissions reductions to state regulators.


New Hampshire Governor John Lynch (D) signed a bill that makes the Granite State the newest party to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state cap-and-trade climate change program in the Northeast. Experts say that RGGI is guaranteed to raise utility bills. However, they are not sure if it will decrease emissions, because it only applies to a portion of electricity generating units in the region. As a result, demand is likely to increase for electricity from unregulated, cheaper, more carbon-intensive wholesale sellers of power, a phenomenon known as “emissions leakage.”

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