Senator Parker Calls on Governor Paterson to Reaffirm Commitment to Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Kevin S. Parker

April 02, 2009

Chair of Senate Energy Committee Writes Letter Opposing Weakening of RGGI
(Albany, NY) State Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), Chairman of the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee, today released a letter he authored to Governor David Paterson urging him to avoid any weakening of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program.

The New York Times reported the Governor is considering increasing the number of free greenhouse gas emission allowances given away to industry. This change would undermine the strong environmental goals of the RGGI program, and it would decrease New York’s expected revenue from auctioning carbon emission allowances in the coming budget year. The loss of State revenue could amount to as much as $42 million over the next five years.

"I am disappointed the Governor could consider dismantling RGGI even in part.," said Chairman Parker. "For New York to forego revenue is a very significant and troubling decision, given the fiscal challenges faced by the State. RGGI funds are intended to be allocated to projects reducing New York’s carbon footprint, promoting Green Collar jobs, and conducting research into pollution reduction technologies. I am optimistic, however, that we can stop RGGI from being weakened."