N.H. business group wary of regional greenhouse gas initiative

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A leading New Hampshire business group is concerned that a regional initiative to cut carbon emissions could mean higher energy costs and energy shortages.

The Business and Industry Association’s board of directors says a bill implementing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative could harm the state’s economy if it isn’t modified.

RGGI is a 10-state program that seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants by requiring the plants to buy “allowances” through an open-market regional auction.

The BIA says lawmakers must make sure the auction process doesn’t invite speculation and price hikes. It also wants assurances energy will be available for business at affordable prices. It says it is concerned the money raised from the sale of allowances be used to provide energy and protect the environment and not be diverted for other purposes.

The BIA says if the program leads to higher energy rates, Northeastern companies will be at a competitive disadvantage.

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