House Environmental and Energy Committee Oppose RGGI

On July 27,2021, the House Environmental and Energy Committee voted to approve a letter to be sent to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), conveying the Committee’s disapproval of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proposed in a regulation advanced by DEP.

Under the provisions of the IRRC statute, standing committees- and ultimately the full House and Senate-are given the authority to vote to block proposed regulations by state agencies. It is expected that the House will proceed to vote on a resolution opposing RGGI when it returns in September. The corresponding Senate committee is expected to take similar action in August, setting the stage for a vote by the full Senate.

However, the Governor-strongly in favor of RGGI-will likely veto the resolution. Obtaining an override of this veto will be challenging for RGGI opponents. In a previous effort of the legislature to block RGGI by statute, Democratic votes to override that veto fell short of the two thirds of the total needed in the House and Senate.

RGGI would establish a carbon cap and trade program on fuels used to generate electric power.

Republicans oppose the program on its merits. A core complaint of this opposition is in regard to the process through which DEP is maintaining that it has the power to adopt this plan without specific legislative approval. If the regulation continues to final adoption, court challenges on that point are expected.

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