Naked ripoff

It’s always been about more tax revenue for greedy politicians, not climate.  Latest proof:

“In New York, government officials found $90 million to pay for schools by dipping into money generated by a multistate greenhouse gas initiative.

In New Hampshire, the state took $3.1 million from a similar environmental fund. And in New Jersey, the government diverted its whole share: $65 million.

At least three financially troubled states have discovered in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade system, a convenient pool of money that can be drawn on to help balance state budgets.

In just over two years, the initiative, known as RGGI, has generated more than $729 million for the 10 states that have participated. Each state is supposed to use its share of the money raised to invest in renewable energy and to promote energy efficiency and consumer benefits, like programs that help low-income electricity customers pay their utility bills.

But the money is proving too much of a temptation for states not to use in other ways.

Critics say that diverting money from the fund for general spending, instead of using it on emissions control and energy savings, makes the initiative little more than a hidden tax on electricity.  …

This is nothing but a new form of taxation, and environmentalists have been used,” said Steve Lonegan, New Jersey state director for Americans for Prosperity …

“There’s a direct consequence for taking this money,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. “Families are going to pay higher energy bills this winter …”

The other states are watching this program to see if they can get away with it,” Mr. Lonegan said.  …

The states are so broke that it’s going to be unbelievably difficult for them to stop this program,” said Leigh Raymond, the associate director of the Climate Change Research Center at Purdue University. “They’re desperate for money.””  “States diverting money from climate initiative


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