"Taxation without representation" ended with the American Revolution, right?


We seem to hear less these days about "cap and trade" than we used to but the idea hasn't gone away—in typically progressive fashion, it's simply being called by other names.

Ever hear of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)? Probably most people in NYS haven't.  From the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a Model for the Nation

With no federal limit on how much carbon dioxide companies can put into the air, many states are taking the lead to hold polluters accountable and to help reduce the impacts of global warming. In the absence of a comprehensive national energy policy, ten northeastern and mid-Atlantic states are working together to shift their energy dollars to cleaner, local, job-creating resources...

...RGGI is a "cap-and-invest" program whereby the states set a regional limit on carbon pollution, sell pollution permits, and invest most of the proceeds in energy efficiency and other clean-energy technologies. RGGI's design requires large fossil-fuel power plants to buy those pollution permits, allowing them to emit only a specific amount of carbon dioxide through a quarterly auction. Those profits then generate regional economic benefits through investments in local businesses that provide jobs for residents, weatherize homes, upgrade heating and air-conditioning systems, and provide energy with clean, homegrown American power....

Sounds great, doesn't it?

Not so much.  Americans for Prosperity—New Jersey begged to differ:

New Jersey did withdraw from RGGI several months ago; Chris Christie was quoted in the NYT as saying, "RGGI does nothing more than tax electricity, tax our citizens, tax our businesses, with no discernible or measurable impact upon our environment."

NYS is still part of this consortium,  although people in the state are pushing back. These NYS counties and towns have passed resolutions calling on the Governor and state legislature to withdraw from RGGI: Niagara County, Schuyler County, Somerset, Pendleton, Hartland, Wilson, Newfane, Cambria, and Chester.

Get informed. Tompkins County folks should mark their calendars:

Taxation Without Representation: The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in NYS

A presentation by Lisa Thrun, Grassroots Chair,

The New York Chapter of Americans for Prosperity

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Tompkins County Public Library - Borg Warner Room

101 E. Green St., Ithaca NY

For the past three years, New York has participated in the RGGI Cap & Trade scheme without the authorization of the state Legislature! Already this Cap & Trade energy tax has cost New York businesses and ratepayers a staggering $327 MILLION! Not only are we seeing an increase in our energy bills because of this mandatory cost increase to production being passed on to consumers, but this tax is also hitting us in other areas such as food, goods, and services. Not to mention, it is also the taxpayer that is footing the bill for the higher costs of electricity for local, state, and federal government buildings.
However, it doesn't stop there. These heavy burdens of mandatory carbon credits are also costing us jobs, hurting business, and threatening our tax base. The Town of Somerset in Niagara County is an example of how Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is afflicting local communities. Last November, the AES Somerset power plant sat idle for the first time in its 26 year history. Today, it sits idle again, having paid $10 Million this year in CO2 permits. Local elected leaders have called on the Governor and the State Legislature to withdraw from participation in RGGI.
How is this affecting the community? Not only are jobs in jeopardy, but AES Somerset is the largest property taxpayer in the county and clearly the biggest taxpayer to the Barker Central School District. The plant, which is one of the cleanest, if not the cleanest, coal-fueled plant in the state, is up for sale and facing a very uncertain future. The Somerset plant is not alone. Other electricity producing plants are up for sale, also sitting idle, or have already closed. Communities are not only faced with a loss of jobs and the loss of tax base that support local governments and school districts, but an unclear future of the effects to our power supply.
Americans for Prosperity will be educating citizens about this unconstitutional Cap & Trade scheme: What is Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), why it should be repealed, and what taxpayers can do to help in that effort. The progress of the legal challenge will also be discussed.
This presentation is co-sponsored by Forward Thinking, the Ithaca Tea Party and by the Tompkins County Republican Committee.