Press Release - California Joins North East Energy Compact - Rhode Island Still Absent
California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday joined New York Republican Governor George Pataki to announce that California is joining the Northeast states' Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Governor Donald Carcieri, however, continues to reject the compact and Rhode Island remains one of only two states in the Northeast that has refused to join the agreement.
"Governor Carcieri has made a terrible decision to reject RGGI," Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Fogarty stated. "He has sided with polluters instead of environmental interests, clean, efficient energy and funds to cut energy costs."
Improving the environment and reinvesting in efficient technology will ultimately drive down the net cost of energy according to the data sponsored by the original 9 state coalition. Several major Wall Street business leaders have also endorsed the program.
Other Democratic and Republican governors across the Northeast have joined the compact. Massachusetts and Rhode Islander were set to join until Governor and Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney abruptly pulled Massachusetts out of the coalition. Carcieri quickly followed Romney's lead.
"It is disgraceful that the Governor still has not allowed Rhode Island to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap and trade program. Seven other northeastern states, and now Republican-led California, have the foresight to take a progressive approach towards a cleaner environment and increased energy efficiency," Fogarty stated.
"Our cooperation can be a model to the rest of the states and to other countries actually," Schwarzenegger stated, according to the Associated Press.
"The projected economic, health and environmental effects of global warming are devastating and energy prices are still sky-high. RGGI is a tremendous initiative that takes a comprehensive, regional approach towards capping greenhouse gasses and addressing our current and future energy needs," Fogarty added.
The goal of the initiative is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at power plants starting in 2009. Power plants in RGGI states will be granted a limited number credits, equal to the amount of carbon dioxide they are allowed to emit. Those that exceed their limits must purchase credits to cover the difference, while those that produce less carbon dioxide can sell the surplus credits.