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New Hampshire Lawmakers Pass Carbon-Market Repeal Measure

New Hampshire’s Republican-led legislature cleared a bill to withdraw the state from the U.S. Northeast’s carbon-trading market, a proposal that may be vetoed by Governor John Lynch.

The legislature passed a shoreland protection bill today with an amendment that would pull New Hampshire out of the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Carole Alfano, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, said in an e-mail.

Lynch, a Democrat, opposes the measure, spokesman Colin Manning said today. Lynch “won’t support something that would pull New Hampshire” from the carbon market, Manning said.

The cap-and-trade program forces power plants to buy pollution allowances for the carbon dioxide released from their smokestacks. New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie said May 26 his state will exit the program by the end of this year.

The Senate voted 14-9 today to pass the bill, Alfano said. At least 16 Senate votes are needed to override a veto, she said. The shoreland protection bill with the cap-and-trade repeal was approved by the state House of Representatives by voice vote on June 1.

The carbon-trading program includes the six New England states, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Maryland. Since 2008, they have raised more than $860 million by auctioning carbon-dioxide allowances. Results of the 12th quarterly auction of carbon-dioxide allowances, conducted today, will be released June 10.

Some states, including New Hampshire, used part of the proceeds from the auctions to plug budget holes. Almost two-thirds of the money is set aside for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects, according to a Feb. 28 report from the cap-and-trade program.

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