New Hampshire

Post image for The Yin and Yang of RGGI

The American Northeast has attained metaphysical balance on energy rationing, thanks to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s (R)  announcement yesterday that he would withdraw the Garden State from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state cap-and-trade scheme. After New Jersey leaves, the remaining nine participants will be: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Christie’s unexpected decision serves as the yin to New Hampshire’s yang. In late February, the New Hampshire House of Representatives  passed HB 519, legislation that would withdraw the Granite State from 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. HB 519’s ultimate enactment appeared so certain, in fact, that Governor John Lynch (D) issued a pre-emptive veto. It should have been a futile gesture, because 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. And in early May, the full Senate, where Republicans enjoy a 2 to 1 majority, voted to remain in the the regional energy rationing scheme. New Hampshire Republicans had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Post image for New Hampshire Senate Republicans Flinch

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.

Post image for New Hampshire Republicans Waffle on Energy Rationing

Republicans in the New Hampshire Senate continue to dither like a eunuch in a brothel lobby, more than two months after the State House of Representatives enacted HB 519, legislation that would withdraw New Hampshire from a regional energy-rationing scheme known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, by a 246 to 104 vote. In late February, after the Republican-controlled House acted, it was widely thought that the Senate would quickly follow suit, as Republicans hold a 2 to 1 majority in the upper chamber. However, the environmentalist lobby mobilized and frightened many Members of the Legislature. Last week, the Senate Natural Resources Committee voted against HB 519 companion legislation. Nonetheless, the full Senate is expected to enact the measure this week, although it is unclear that there will be enough votes to override a promised veto from Governor John Lynch (D), even though Republicans have a veto-proof majority.

Update on the States

by William Yeatman on February 28, 2011

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Louisiana

Three weeks ago, a federal judge in Louisiana found the Department of the Interior in contempt for its moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico enacted in the wake of last year’s BP spill. As a result of the ruling, the government will have to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees, but it didn’t impact the moratorium, which was lifted on October 22, 2010. Despite the end of the de jure moratorium, the Obama administration has kept in place a de facto moratorium through bureaucratic foot-dragging.

Two weeks ago, the same U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman, lifted this de facto moratorium, by granting a preliminary injunction requiring that the Interior Department act within 30 days on five pending permit applications. According to Judge Martin’s ruling, “Delays of four months and more in the permitting process, however, are unreasonable, unacceptable and unjustified by the evidence before the court.”

New Hampshire

By a 246 to 104 vote, the New Hampshire House of Representatives last week passed HB 519, legislation that would withdraw New Hampshire from a regional energy-rationing scheme known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Governor John Lynch (D) promised to veto the bill before it was introduced, but this week’s vote is veto-proof. The State Senate is expected to pass HB 519 with enough votes to overturn the Governor’s promised veto.

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Update on the States

by William Yeatman on February 22, 2011

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New Hampshire

Legislation that would withdraw New Hampshire from a regional energy-rationing scheme gained momentum last week. HB 519, which would pull New Hampshire out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade for 10 northeastern States, was approved by the House Science Technology and Energy Committee and endorsed by House Speaker William O’Brien. Two weeks ago, Governor John Lynch (D) preemptively threatened to veto the bill, but Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the State Legislature, so if they stick together, they can end this energy tax.

Kentucky

Outrage at the EPA’s campaign against coal is bipartisan in Kentucky. Last month, a top Democratic lawmaker, Jim Gooch, called for “secession” from the green regulatory state. Last week, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the State Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee passed a bill that would make Kentucky a “sanctuary state” out of reach of the EPA’s “overreaching regulatory power.” The symbolic legislation is expected to easily win passage in the full Senate.

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