HB 519

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New Hampshire Senate Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on energy rationing policy. Two months ago, the State House of Representatives passed HB 519, legislation that would withdraw New Hampshire from a regional energy-rationing scheme known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), by a 246 to 104 vote. At the time, it was widely thought that the Senate would quickly follow suit, as Republicans control the upper chamber. Governor John Lynch (D) promised to veto the bill, but Republicans hold a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the legislature.

Then the environmentalist lobby mobilized and frightened many members of the Senate. The bill was delayed. Last week, the Senate Natural Resources Committee voted against HB 519 companion legislation. This week, the full Senate, where Republicans enjoy a 2 to 1 majority, voted to remain in the RGGI.