In June 2017, President Trump made the decision to pull America out of the global Paris Climate Pact (an international effort to reduce global warming).
Upon this decision, there was much discussion across the country concerning environmental safety.
Recently, New Hampshire (along with eight other New England and Mid-Atlantic states) took a measure to help prevent greenhouse gas emissions and, in turn, global warming.
This decision was to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and create a set of proposals so the “cap-and-trade” program can continue after 2020.
I believe that it is a positive decision for New Hampshire to agree to more cuts in carbon emissions.
The economy is minimally affected in a negative way and it is for a worthy environmental cause.
It is scientifically proven that carbon emissions have a direct link to climate change and global warming.
According to NASA’s website, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have increased by a third since the Industrial Revolution, which is one of the most significant contributing factors to climate change.
Carbon emissions are responsible for 72 percent of all emitted greenhouse gases.
By cutting back and controlling the CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere, we can make major strides in reversing these negative environmental impacts.
This plan also helps produce jobs. According to National Resources Defence Council’s (NRDC) website, RGGI has created 30,000 full-time jobs and $2.9 billion in total value to the state’s economies.
RGGI aims to stabilize and reduce carbon emissions. Under RGGI, electric utilities can buy and sell carbon allotments that permit them to emit certain amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.
These are bought and sold at quarterly auctions, with the proceeds go towards the involved states. New Hampshire has used most of the money from the program to reduce prices on consumer electric bills.
Many Republicans are opposed to New Hampshire’s involvement with the program because of the cost.
Electric rates and the cost of energy production within the region have gone up.
There is also dispute as to whether or not the revenues from RGGI are being used in the correct manner.
An independent assessment by University of New Hampshire Professor Dr. Ross Gittell found that if 100 percent of RGGI auction revenues were used to reduce business taxes, then the overall economic impact of RGGI would be positive.
However, this same study describes how New Hampshire would be experiencing the same increased costs in the regional electricity marketplace whether or not they joined RGGI.
The only factor that affects the economy of New Hampshire participating in the program is how the state chooses to use those allowances they receive as participants.
Overall, New Hampshire’s plan to cut back on carbon emissions through involvement with RGGI has far more benefits than negatives.
The increase in energy production is not correlated with the state’s participation in the initiative.
The economy and the environment both benefit from this decision.
Rachel Vitello can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org