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Gov. Chris Christie To Pull N.J. From Greenhouse Gas Program

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New Jersey Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, Bob Martin, right, looks on Thursday, May 26, 2011 in Trenton, N.J., as Gov. Chris Christie announces that New Jersey will withdraw from a 10-state regional greenhouse gas reduction program by the end of the year. (credit: Mel Evans/AP)

New Jersey Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, Bob Martin, right, looks on Thursday, May 26, 2011 in Trenton, N.J., as Gov. Chris Christie announces that New Jersey will withdraw from a 10-state regional greenhouse gas reduction program by the end of the year. (credit: Mel Evans/AP)

levon_feature Levon Putney
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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced Thursday that New Jersey will withdraw from a 10-state regional greenhouse gas reduction program by the end of the year, saying the program is ineffective at combating global warming.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney With Comment From Gov. Christie

“The whole system is not working as it was intended to work. It is a failure,” the governor said.

The announcement thrilled conservatives, who have been dogging governors in Northeast states to abandon the effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions by having polluters pay for their fossil fuel output.

But it angered lawmakers who supported New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, since 2008.

“Gov. Christie has in one wrong-headed decision decimated New Jersey’s clean air and energy advocacy efforts,” said Assemblyman John McKeon, a Democrat who chairs the Assembly environment committee. “Sadly, this day will go down in history as the one in which New Jersey ceded its standing as a leader in environmental protection efforts.”

Though the state Legislature is controlled by Democrats, the majority party may be powerless to stop the Republican governor from carrying out the exit strategy because no legislation is needed for him to do so.

Christie said Thursday he is committed to increasing off-shore wind production and making solar energy more affordable. New Jersey gets about one-fifth of its energy from four nuclear power plants, including the country’s oldest reactor.

Christie, who in November raised questions about the causes of global warming, said Thursday that he believes climate change is real and caused, at least partially, by human activity.

Besides New Jersey, participating states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Do you agree with this decision? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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