Concord, NH - This morning, former Republican Governor of New York George Pataki will be giving an address at New England College to announce his new economic and fiscal policy advocacy group. But at the same time Pataki is speaking, New Hampshire House Republicans will be working to remove the Granite State from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Pataki is viewed as the mastermind of RGGI, the multi-state cap and trade initiative that was one of his crowning achievements as Governor.
A 2006 press release from the State of New York, credited Pataki for having "initiated the RGGI process." The press release continued by commending Pataki for inviting the North East and Mid-Atlantic States "to pursue 'a course of cooperation'" and to "work together 'to develop a strategy that will help the region lead the nation in the effort to fight global climate change.'" [DEC Announces Final Model Rule to Help States Implement RGGI]
Current non-partisan estimates calculate that if New Hampshire House Republicans are able to remove the Granite State from the RGGI Program, it would cost state taxpayers a minimum of $13 million dollars per biennium.
"Will Governor Pataki defend the fiscally responsible cost cutting RGGI program he created and championed as Governor of New York, or will Pataki follow Mitt Romney's footsteps and abandon his record as governor in an attempt to further his own political aspirations?" asked Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
"If Governor Pataki expects anyone to take his 'No American Debt' group seriously needs to stand up for policies he championed as Governor and that have saved millions of dollars in taxpayer money," continued Kirstein. "It would disheartening to see another Republican cave to the extremists in his party and have the kick off speech for this brand new campaign group begin with a massive $13 million dollar flip-flop."