Ed Potosnak needed fewer than 30 words to sum up everything that’s right and good about a new legislative push to usher New Jersey back into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – better known as RGGI.

“The people of New Jersey want cleaner air and good jobs,” Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement. “RGGI provides these benefits as well as many others, including desperately needed money into our treasury.”

Since its creation in 2005, the initiative has served as the first auction in the country to sell and trade carbon dioxide emission credits to mega-polluters, with proceeds underwriting energy-efficient programs and renewable-energy projects throughout the Northeast.

RGGI funds have helped an elementary school in Greenville, New Hampshire, go green; provided 125 lower-income families in Prince George’s County, Maryland, with money-saving energy audits; and allowed the city of Newark, Delaware, to replace aging, gas-guzzling vehicles with new hybrid models, among many other victories.

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