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Koch Brothers Behind Push To End RGGI

06 Jun 2011  |   Damien Shirley

Tags: Clean Air, Climate Change

Who is behind the recent push to end the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative? None other than the Koch brothers, some of the most notorious oil executives in America.

Americans for Prosperity—which was founded and is funded by the Koch brothers—spent nearly $250,000 lobbying New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Just last week, Gov. Christie announced that he would be pulling his state from the landmark climate program. "We've had one great victory in this battle, but the war is not over yet," said Steven Lonegan, director of AFP's New Jersey office and Christie’s opponent in the 2009 GOP primary. "My goal is to put an end to cap and trade in this country forever."
This morning, Politico is reporting that AFP is “hounding state lawmakers” in New Hampshire and Maine, two other states that have considered legislation to withdraw from the climate program. According to Jeb Bradley, Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate, AFP have “certainly worked hard in New Hampshire.”
According to Corey Lewandowski, AFP’s New Hampshire state director, "[w]e're going to have a major role in setting the presidential agenda over the next several months here in New Hampshire."
AFP is also working on ending New York’s participation in RGGI. According to Politico, they’re organizing a protest outside RGGI headquarters in Manhattan and Phil Kerpen, AFP’s vice president for policy, is reportedly studying a lawsuit that would knock New York out of the program.
AFP is warning state lawmakers who might stand in the way of legislation to end RGGI—according to Lewandowski, ending RGGI “is a Waterloo issue as far as I'm concerned."

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