Two environmental groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environment New Jersey, have reportedly filed a notice with the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, that they will challenge a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) decision to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI ). In re: RGGI, No. N/A (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., notice filed 6/6/12). Governor Chris Christie (R) announced May 26, 2011, that the state would no longer participate in RGGI at the end of 2011 because the program was not effective in cutting carbon dioxide emissions and had contributed to higher energy prices. RGGI is a cooperative cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power plants. Nine states continue to participate in the program.
According to press reports, the challengers intend to argue that in terminating the program, New Jersey ignored public notice-and-comment requirements contained in the state’s Administrative Procedure Act. They will ask the court to reinstate New Jersey’s membership in RGGI and order NJ DEP to continue to implement the state greenhouse gas program. See BNA World Climate Change Report and Law360, June 06, 2012.