Give us the real RGGI story

To the editor:

Re the article about RGGI by Bob Sanders in the Nov. 2-15 issue (“RGGI, subsidies expose differences on energy conservation). He did a credible job with the info he had.

I am a skeptic about the supposed benefit to the environment and the ratepayers. It’s very difficult to put together conflicting information from a variety of sources. But eventually, a sketchy picture emerges.

The enabling legislation was/is RGGI. The state issues certificates of some sort, each representing a metric ton of pollutants. These are auctioned to the highest bidder(s), and PSNH apparently bought some. These certificates are somehow supposed to entice PSNH to reduce pollution, but they are a permit to pollute. They are cheap, so it’s cheaper to pollute than put in a scrubber or whatever. Additionally, PSNH can charge the ratepayers for the cost, plus, probably, an administration fee. The money gained at auction goes to the state and is supposed to fund energy-efficiency improvements in a variety of ways — 10 percent to insulate low-income housing and 90 percent to unspecified uses, as much as I know.

It is often said by proponents that the money thus collected will be returned to the customers, but they always fail to specifys how much, to whom, and in what form and when. I can understand why our “leaders” are in favor of it; it is nothing more than a slush fund and, apparently, unaccountable. This is nothing more than a hidden tax.

It would be nice if someone with the knowledge, authority and position would audit this program and lay it all out for the citizens of New Hampshire to see and understand.

Donald Bradley

Categories: Letters to the Editor