The New Hampshire House of Representatives, the third largest legislative body in the world, voted yesterday to end the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade program. The House voted 251-108 after less than 5 minutes of debate to repeal the law under which the state joined RGGI. A number of Democrats refused to attend due to other legislation voted the same day to declare state employees to be employed at-will rather than having collective bargaining rights.
Aimed at reducing the the greenhouse gas emissions in the region, the RGGI program is a coalition of 10 northeastern US states issuing their own carbon credits under a cap and trade program. Under the program, emitters must either reduce their emissions to a specified level or purchase credits from others at auction on cap and trade markets that carry the RGGI credits. Proceeds of the auction are ostensibly used to fund energy efficiency programs, however critics have complained that electric users are funding efficiency programs that don’t directly benefit them.