RGGI run amuck
What is the easiest way to kill business in the USA? A thing called RGGI, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
What is RGGI?
It is the nation’s first attempt to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide a private business may release into the atmosphere. It includes an auction of by-the-ton permits to release CO2, and fines for excess emissions.
Is RGGI anything like Cap and Trade?
RGGI is a new name for Cap and Trade. No matter how you spell it, it’s a bad program. It will hurt businesses and cost jobs. And if you are living in one of the ten compact States, you don’t have to guess how high it will raise your cost of living. Just look at your monthly electric bill.
Proposed cap and trade legislation did not escape the watchful eyes of Tea Party groups throughout the country. Their protests stalled federal legislation. But ten states in the northeast made a compact to make a law that never passed Congress. These states are New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland.
Former Governor Jon S. Corzine entered into this compact. Since then, a host of conservative legislators and political activists across NJ have joined the fight against RGGI. They have raised a battle cry, and proudly strutted their stuff before their constituents. They have painted themselves as modern-day heroes, valiantly fighting against intrusive government. Oh my – how grand they all appear in front of the camera, these servants of the people, working to restore sanity to government. It would be grand if they weren’t part of the insanity.
These NJ defenders of limited government are spending a great deal of time and energy (pardon the pun) repealing RGGI. But the compact they are trying to withdraw from is actually unconstitutional. Its repeal doesn’t require the circus that surrounds it; it just requires leaders who understand the Constitution.
Did you say that RGGI was unconstitutional?
Yes! The US Constitution (Article I, Section 10, Paragraph 3) says:
No state shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power…(emphasis added)
Yes, you read that correctly! Under our Constitution, States may not enter into compacts unless Congress says they may. That is exactly what the ten northeastern states have done. So why won’t those grandstanding against RGGI do the simple thing: nullify it on constitutional grounds?
Perhaps they haven’t read that part of the Constitution. Or if they have, they haven’t understood it. That hasn’t stopped them from parading as protectors of the Constitution. Or perhaps they are so used to business as usual, and their political games, that they have failed to recognize remedies that might be staring them in the face. For them it might be business as usual, but for us it is another assault against life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In New York, however, Indeck Corinth, L.P. and their legal team did recognize the Constitutional no-compact clause. So they sued the Governor of New York, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies. Hooray for Indeck and their legal team!
Unfortunately, endless negotiations and grandstanding are a way of life for career politicians in NJ. While NJ fights to revoke an unconstitutional compact, all Governor Christie has to do is stand up and say NO. The Constitution and the no-compact clause are quite clear. Read it for yourselves!
But, you may ask, is this what our founders intended? James Madison wrote Federalist Paper #44 to explain what this clause meant. He said, “The remaining particulars of this [compact] clause fall within reasonings which are either so obvious, or have been so fully developed, that they may be passed over without remark.” In plain English: this is so obvious that I shouldn’t have to say any more.
The Constitution alone should suffice to repeal RGGI. But our courts have used this reasoning not merely to interpret the Constitution, but to rewrite it to fit their wishes and whims. In a culture that can’t decide what the meaning of the word “is” is, this should surprise no one. Courts have attached four criteria to consider a compact “unconstitutional.”
This is judicial activism run amuck. If we can change the meaning of the words in the Constitution, we can change the meaning of the Constitution itself. Our courts have done just that, and we have let them. They no longer decide cases on the merits. Instead they re-interpret the law to mean what they want it to mean, regardless of the Rule of Law.
Governor Christie can also say NO based on RGGI’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). It admits that RGGI has no authority to enforce the compact, and allows States to withdraw on 30 days’ notice.
The people on whom RGGI has an impact should be able to repeal it based on the wording of the MOU and the Compact Clause in the Constitution. Sadly, you will likely not see anything like that in NJ until the voters in this state restore it to some form of political sanity. This state has been crazy for decades or more. The career politicians in NJ and all across the USA prefer grandstanding over common sense – or maybe they just like to look busy. They should “Cap” RGGI and “Trade” it for some sanity.
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What can we do about it?
No matter how you slice it, the best hope for the future of NJ remains with the Tea Parties and other like-minded organizations. Re-electing and re-re-electing the same career politicians will only yield the same results – more insanity, higher taxes, failing schools, business-killing regulations, and an out-of-control budget. That is why this writer has decided to throw her hat in the ring and run for the Assembly in NJ (on the Constitution Party line and not the Republican Party line!). I hope I can encourage others to do the same. I have had enough of the games and enough of shouting at the television about things that don’t make sense anymore. It’s time for average citizens across this great nation to stand up and take our country back.
May God have mercy on us and may He continue to bless America!