By Kevin Mooney
After expressing skepticism toward the concept of man-made global warming at a town hall meeting in Toms River, New Jersey last year, Gov. Chris Christie appears to have shifted over into the alarmist camp.
This has become a sore-point for free-market conservatives who have held out hope Gov. Christie may yet emerge as a GOP savior in the 2012 presidential race. On the scientific side of the equation, he is sending out mixed messages. On the economic side, he has delivered.
At a press conference in Trenton earlier this month, Gov. Christie announced that he would withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which requires participating states to cut their emissions by 10 percent come 2018. The program did not have any appreciable impact on the environment and only serves to burden state residents with higher costs, Christie pointed out in his public comments.
“RGGI does nothing more than tax electricity, tax our citizens, tax our businesses, with no discernible or measurable impact upon our environment,” Christie said. “So, we will withdraw from RGGI in an orderly fashion by year’s end. This also corresponds with the end of the first compliance period when compliance entities must true up, match their allowances to their emissions. By giving them this notice we are confident that the market and the participants will be able to adjust to our withdrawal from RGGI.”
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