This Thursday, the NJ Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee will hold a hearing on Pres. Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan and on the possibility of New Jersey rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

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“Less than a year ago, Hurricane Sandy slammed against the East Coast, battered the mid-Atlantic and ravaged New Jersey, claiming more than 113 lives, gutting hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses and knocking millions out of power,” said Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, the panel’s chairman. “The record number of storms and hurricanes to strike our state in the past few years underscores the urgency of addressing climate change. We look forward to hearing stakeholders weigh in on President Obama's Climate Action Plan."

The committee is scheduled to take testimony from invited guests on issues relating to the effects of climate change in New Jersey. Specifically, the committee will take testimony concerning Obama's Climate Action Plan and reducing consumption of traditional energy sources. The public is also invited to testify.

A report released earlier this year by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggested that carbon dioxide daily levels in the atmosphere have surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm). The last time CO2 levels were so high was three to five millions years ago when humans didn’t exist.

“We look forward to New Jersey continuing its leadership in fighting climate change by working with the Obama administration on the Climate Action Plan,” said Chivukula. “Our state has long been at the forefront of advancing a clean energy economy with groundbreaking measures like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that I was proud to sponsor.”