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RGGI, round 2: Repeal it again

March 29. 2012 11:14PM

The New Hampshire Senate soon will have a chance to correct a mistake it made last year when it failed to rid New Hampshire of the pesky and costly Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Last year legislators voted to pull New Hampshire out of RGGI, a cap-and-trade scheme in which electric utility rates are raised for the purpose of financing energy-efficiency programs. Supporters portray it as a program that makes polluting utility companies pay to clean the environment. In fact, it is a tax that we all pay to subsidize small-scale energy-savings initiatives favored by politicians.

Alas, Gov. John Lynch vetoed the repeal bill, and the Senate in September failed by a single vote to override the veto.

Now it can make up for that failure. On Wednesday the House again voted to withdraw the state from RGGI. House Speaker Bill O'Brien calls the program 'a backdoor tax,' and he's right. Most senators realize the truth of that assessment.

The state needs 16 senators to support House Bill 1480 if it is to survive another Lynch veto. As electric utility ratepayers, all of us should hope the Senate can muster the votes.

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