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New Jersey Environmentalists Push For RGGI [AUDIO]

Daniel Berehulak, Getty Images

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has saved consumers money, added jobs in New Jersey and helped keep air pollution at a minimum. That’s according to a new report released by Environment New Jersey which gives reasons why the Garden State should stay in the program.

RGGI is a 10-state program designed to cap global warming pollution from power plants, make polluters pay and invest those payments in clean energy programs that further reduce pollution and grow the economy.

“RGGI is creating jobs, putting money back in people’s pockets and also the pockets of businesses while cutting harmful air pollution at the same time,” said Matt Elliot, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment New Jersey. “The average resident is saving 25 dollars on their electric bill while the average business is saving 181 dollars. When you add it all up, about 151 million dollars is being saved on energy bills.”

“Leaving RGGI would leave hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue on the table, money that could be invested in clean energy programs that would further grow the economy, and it would mean more harmful pollution for our state,” said Elliot.

According to the report, RGGI is helping grow the state’s economy, fueling the transition to a cleaner energy future while supporting nearly 1,800 job-years of employment. “By staying in RGGI and working with participating states to strengthen the program, New Jersey would realize hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue to invest in clean energy programs,” said Elliot.

“If the program stays as it is and nothing changes, it will generate $171 million for clean energy projects in New Jersey between 2012 and 2018. As the program strengthens, available revenue from polluters will only increase which could bring New Jersey anywhere from $340 million to $680 million to be spent on renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Elliot. “That would be a win-win for the Garden State.”

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