CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) – A conservative political action group is putting pressure on New Jersey legislators to remove the state from a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

And the group is making progress.

Three years ago, ten northeastern states got together to try to cap, and eventually reduce, the amount of carbon that power companies were discharging into their air, in response to research showing that carbon dioxide is a major contributor to global warming.

They called the effort the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or “Reggie.”  They agreed to auction off the right to emit carbon in their states and use the money to fund energy conservation, hoping to reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent by 2018.

Energy companies opposed the measure since it increases costs, and the New Jersey chapter of “Americans For Prosperity” took up their cause, running ads, including some on KYW Newsradio, denouncing RGGI and lobbying legislators to pass a bill to get New Jersey out of the agreement.

Most Republicans in the New Jersey legislature signed on to the effort right away, and now some high-profile Democrats are joining as well.  State senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cumberland and Cape May Counties) is scheduled to add his support for withdrawing from RGGI at a news conference with Americans For Prosperity tomorrow.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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