New Hampshire Governor Backs Northeast’s Carbon-Dioxide Market

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch said he’ll oppose Republican efforts to pull the state out of the U.S. Northeast’s cap-and-trade carbon program for power plants.

Withdrawing from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative “would be a blow to our economy and to our state’s efforts to become more energy efficient and energy independent,” Lynch, a Democrat, said today in a letter to members of the Republican-led New Hampshire House of Representatives.

The state House Committee on Science, Technology and Energy held a hearing today on a bill to remove the state from the regional carbon trading program, which has operated since 2008. The 10 states in the program sell pollution allowances that power plants must obtain in order to legally release carbon dioxide from their smokestacks.

Requiring power plants to pay for carbon-dioxide allowances has “increased consumer costs for electricity, fuel and food,” according to the bill. Lynch said households and businesses save money under the program because the cash raised from carbon allowance auctions is spent on projects that cut energy consumption and lead to lower utility bills.

New Hampshire accounts for 4.6 percent of the carbon allowances issued under the regional cap-and-trade program, according to data on its website.

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