NH House Leaders Comments on Passage of RGGI Repeal

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1490, which would repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap and trade program for controlling carbon dioxide emissions. The bill passed on a voice vote. 

House Speaker William O’Brien

“The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has always been a backdoor tax increase on the citizens of New Hampshire and we need to end it and bring in jobs. The program has been a colossal failure for reducing carbon emissions and has morphed from a program supposedly focused on the environment to a public-sector attempt at a stimulus program in which administrators pick winners and losers by directing ratepayer money to the winners. Repealing RGGI puts more money in the pockets of New Hampshire citizens through lower electric bills. Since New Hampshire has some of the highest electric rates, this repeal also sends a clear signal to the business community that we are reversing the state’s direction toward a pro-business environment.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“We believe the taxpayers should be able to keep their hard earned money in their pockets and use it as they see fit—not have the state collecting a stealth tax from them through electric rates to redistribute “green pork” to a few. At a time when we have skyrocketing energy costs it is unconscionable to continue to add these costs with our blind faith participation in RGGI. This bill helps to take the ‘money’ out of this program so that it can truly work on its goal of improving the environment and it also works to create immediate solutions to help lower electric costs. Finally, House Bill 1490 will fully repeal our participation with this program by 2015, finally ending our connection with this burdensome and special interest lead scheme.”