News : RGGI Supporters Keep Eye on N.H. Legistlature

Mar 3, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald.

By Craig Robert Brown

CONCORD – A series of bills that would repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Renewable Portfolio Standard are going before the New Hampshire House and Senate.

The Republican-led committee on Feb. 5 voted to amend House Bill 208 presented by state Rep. Richard Barry, R-Merrimack, who originally brought the same concept to the table in 2011 and again in 2012. The amendment would keep New Hampshire in RGGI, but rebate all RGGI auction proceeds to ratepayers instead of using part of the rebates, as it currently does, to invest in low-income and municipal energy efficiency projects.

The first vote before the House was held Feb. 18, which resulted in a decision to stay in RGGI with a 201-154 vote to stop investing any funds in energy efficiency. The bill will still go before the Senate, where it could pass, before being presented to the governor.

"If it does [pass] there's going to be a real ramp down of all of these good programs, and New Hampshire is going to face another interruption in its market development," said Kate Epsen, executive director of the New Hampshire Sustainability Energy Association. "A lot of businesses will be harmed and a lot of jobs will be lost."

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald here