ASSEMBLY, No. 3301

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 12, 2006

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman LINDA STENDER

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Mercer)

Assemblywoman LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Stack, Assemblywomen Watson Coleman, Cruz-Perez, Assemblymen Prieto, Whelan, Assemblywoman Oliver, Assemblymen Vas, Diegnan, Bramnick, Green, Munoz, Payne, Hackett, Panter, Giblin, Bateman, Gordon, Mayer, Epps, Wolfe and Chivukula

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     The “Global Warming Response Act.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the reduction of greenhouse gases and supplementing chapter 2C of Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  This act shall be known as and may be cited as the “Global Warming Response Act.”

 

     2.  The Legislature finds and declares that internationally the issue of global warming has caused alarm, awareness, and action concerning climate changes occurring around the globe attributed to the high level of certain gases called “greenhouse gases” – gases that increase temperatures in the atmosphere and the risk of catastrophic changes to the Earth’s ecosystems and environment; that, while this global warming may be a theory to some, the effects of increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are accepted by many respected scientists and members of the international community as seriously detrimental to the ecosystems and environment of the world; that, ultimately, if steps are not taken to reverse these trends, the effects on human, animal and plant life on Earth may be catastrophic; that solutions exist to halt the increasing of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and reduce these emissions; that, as a global issue, each country and region within a country must do its part to reduce these greenhouse gases that threaten the globe; and that, as a State, there are specific actions that can be taken to attack the problem of global warming, through reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in the State and participation in regional and interstate initiatives to reduce these emissions regionally, nationally, and internationally.

     The Legislature therefore declares it is in the public interest to establish a greenhouse gas reduction program with the goal of reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the State to below the 1990 levels of these emissions by the year 2020.

 

     3.  For the purposes of this act:

     “Carbon dioxide equivalents” means the amount of carbon dioxide by weight that would produce the same global warming impact as a given weight of another greenhouse gas, to be determined based on the most recent information available from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme.

     “Cost effectiveness” means the net costs, or the costs less the benefits, per unit of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

     “Cumulative impact” means cumulative impact as the term is defined in Section 1508.7of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

     “Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection.

     “Direct or indirect effects” means direct or indirect effects as the terms are defined in Section 1508.8 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

     “Greenhouse gas” means any atmospheric gas that slows the rate at which heat radiates into space, thereby having a warming effect on the atmosphere, and shall include, but need not be limited to, water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, certain halogenated gases, and any other gas determined by the Department of Environmental Protection to be a serious contributor to the problem of global warming.

     “The 2020 limit” means the level of greenhouse gas emissions attained by the reduction of these emissions to the percentage below the 1990 levels of these emissions established pursuant to section 4 of this act.

 

     4.  a.  No later than one year after the effective date of this act, the Department of Environmental Protection shall establish:

     (1)  inventories of the greenhouse gas emissions in the State;

     (2)  inventories of the 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the State;

     (3) priorities for the reduction of types of greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced pursuant to this act; and

     (4) by rules and regulations, adopted pursuant to the “Administrative Procedures Act” P.L. 1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) the percentage reduction below the 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions to be achieved by the year 2020.

     b.  No later than January 1, 2020, the levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the State shall be reduced to the percentage below the 1990 levels of these emissions established by the department pursuant to subsection a. of this section.

 

     5.    a.  On or before January 1, 2008, the department shall adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedures Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations establishing a greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and reduction program to:

     (1) monitor and report greenhouse gas emissions levels in the State; and

     (2) achieve Statewide the percentage reduction below the 1990 greenhouse gas emissions levels set by the department pursuant to section 4 of this act.

     The rules and regulations shall also establish a series of enforceable limits that gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions levels to the 2020 limit set by the department pursuant to section 4 of this act, and requirements on sources of greenhouse gas emissions to achieve these reductions.  The first of these limits shall take effect on January 1, 2012, with additional limits taking effect on January 1 of subsequent years as determined by the department.

     b.    In developing these rules and regulations, the department shall take into account projected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other emissions reductions required pursuant to State emissions control programs otherwise established by law.  The greenhouse gas emissions limits shall be expressed in total tons of allowable greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents, and shall include, but shall not be limited to, all greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of electricity delivered by utilities and consumed in the State, whether generated in the State or imported into the State.

     c.     The rules and regulations adopted pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall identify all significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the State and shall provide for, but need not be limited to, the following:

     (1) monitoring and reporting of existing emissions and changes in emissions over time from the sources identified by the department;

     (2) monitoring  compliance with the emissions limits established by the department;

     (3) developing, implementing and enforcing requirements to achieve the required reductions;

     (4)  monitoring greenhouse gas emissions in the State;

     (5)  reporting the levels of those emissions and changes in those emissions levels annually, commencing on January 1, 2008; and

     (6) monitoring compliance with the requirements established pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection and the progress towards attaining the required reductions determined pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection.

     d.  Pursuant to the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the department shall require reporting of the greenhouse gas emissions:

     (1) associated with fossil fuels used in the State by entities that are manufacturers and distributors of fossil fuels, including, but not limited to, oil refineries, oil storage facilities, and natural gas pipelines;

     (2) from any utility generating or delivering electricity consumed in the State, whether the electricity is generated in the State, or generated outside the State and imported into the State, and accounting for transmission line losses; and

     (3) from any additional entities that are significant emitters of greenhouse gases, as determined by the department and appropriate to enable the department to monitor compliance with the emissions limits for greenhouse gases established pursuant to this act.

     e.  The rules and regulations also shall:

     (1) distribute the costs and benefits of the program, including emission allowances, in a manner that is –

            (a) equitable and maximizes the total benefit to the economy;

            (b) does not disproportionately burden low-income and moderate-income households;

            (c) provides compliance flexibility where appropriate; and

            (d) ensures that entities that have voluntarily reduced their emissions prior to the implementation of the greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and reduction program receive appropriate consideration for emissions reductions achieved;

     (2) ensure that the measures implemented to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions do not result in direct or indirect effects or a cumulative impact that increase emissions of toxic air contaminants, identified by the department and the United States Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous air contaminants, or cause or contribute to a violation of a federal or State health-based ambient air quality standard in any community;

     (3) evaluate emissions reduction opportunities based upon their cost-effectiveness and additional societal benefits, including, but not necessarily limited to, reductions in other air pollutants, energy security, and protection of the environment and public health;

     (4) minimize the administrative burden of implementing and complying with the program;

     (5) minimize displacement of emissions outside of the scope of the program; and

     (6) where feasible, coordinate with other states and countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that does not conflict with State law and regulations.

 

     6.  In accordance with the goals of the greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and reduction program established by rule and regulation pursuant to section 5 of this act, the Department of Environmental Protection shall adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedures Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), any rules or regulations necessary to implement in the State model rules adopted by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or any other interstate or regional effort to reduce greenhouse gases or global warming that the department determines to be bonafide and beneficial to the prevention of global warming and the attainment of the reduction in greenhouse gases required by this act.

 

     7.  The department shall acquire, develop, and provide to federal, State, local, and regional agencies, departments, independent authorities, utilities, businesses, industries, representatives of the energy and economic sectors, and members of the public, data and information on global climate change and the costs, technological feasibility, and demonstrated effectiveness of methods for reducing or mitigating the production of greenhouse gases from sources in the State.  The department shall provide a variety of forums for the exchange of that information among interested parties and State agencies, departments, and independent authorities.

 

     8. On or before January 1, 2009, and annually thereafter, the department shall report to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature on the current level of greenhouse gas emissions and progress made toward compliance with the emissions limits on greenhouse gases established by the department. The report shall include updated and comparative inventories of greenhouse gas emissions in the State.

 

     9.  a.  On or before January 1, 2015, the department shall evaluate the ecological, economic, and environmental factors and the technological capability affecting the attainment or maintenance of the 2020 limit, and further reduction of levels of greenhouse gas emissions beyond the 2020 limit established pursuant to this act.

     b.  Based on the evaluation, the department may adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedures Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations:

     (1) establishing further measures or requirements to attain or maintain the 2020 limit; or

     (2) requiring further reductions beyond the 2020 limit.

     If further reductions are required, the rules and regulations shall also establish a level of greenhouse gas emissions to be attained by January 1, 2030, a scheduled series of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions below the 2020 emission limit to attain that level of greenhouse gas emissions, and requirements to be imposed on sources of greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the required reductions.

 

     10.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish, on or before January 1, 2008, a greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and reduction program to monitor and report on greenhouse gas emissions levels in the State and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the State to levels below the 1990 greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2020.  The bill also directs the DEP to establish, no later than one year after the effective date of the bill:

     1) inventories of the greenhouse gas emissions in the State;

     2) inventories of the 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the State;

     3) priorities for the reduction of types of greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced pursuant to this act; and

     4) by rules and regulations, the percentage reduction below the 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions to be achieved by the year 2020.

     The rules and regulations establishing this program shall also establish a series of enforceable limits that gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions levels to the 2020 limit, with the first limit taking effect January 1, 2012.

     The bill further directs the DEP to evaluate by January 1, 2015 the ecological, economic, and environmental factors and the technological capability affecting the attainment or maintenance of the 2020 limit, and further reduction of levels of greenhouse gas emissions beyond the 2020 limit.  Based on the evaluation, the DEP may adopt rules and regulations establishing further measures or requirements to attain or maintain the 2020 limit, or requiring further reductions beyond the 2020 limit.  If further reductions are required, the bill requires that the rules and regulations also establish a level of greenhouse gas emissions to be attained by January 1, 2030, a scheduled series of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions below the 2020 emission limit to attain that level of greenhouse gas emissions, and requirements to be imposed on sources of greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the required reductions.

     Global warming - the increase of temperatures in the atmosphere that risk catastrophic changes to the Earth’s ecology and environment – is attributed to the build-up of greenhouse gas emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere.  Although some view global warming as a theory, the effects of increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are accepted by many respected scientists and members of the international community as seriously detrimental to the ecosystem and environment of the world, and measures can be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the risk to the planet.  Therefore, it is reasonable for the State to take specific actions to attack global warming by establishing a State program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and participate in regional and interstate initiatives to reduce these emissions regionally, nationally, and internationally.