New NJ gov overturns Christie's decision on cap and trade

New NJ gov overturns Christie's decision on cap and trade
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New Jersey will soon rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) following a decision by the state's new governor to overturn the policy of his predecessor, Chris Christie.

Just two weeks into office, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Monday signed an executive order to put the state back into a multistate cap and trade agreement that the former governor pulled out of in 2011.

Under the program, power plants have to buy carbon credits at a quarterly auction in order to offset their emissions. The proceeds from the auctions are then used by member states to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

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Christie had labeled the agreement as "gimmicky," at one time telling reporters the pact has not been "effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future."

During a news conference Monday, Murphy said that initially pulling out of the pact "lacked common sense."

"Leaving RGGI, as it is called by most, made us an outlier in our own neighborhood," Murphy said. "It signaled a retreat from a comprehensive and collaborative effort to curb the carbon emissions that contributed to climate change."