Well, it’s official. Gov. Chris Christie has pulled the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), handing a big gift to the right-wing base that gives governors like him the big money, like the kind that powers Americans for Prosperity, which has made dismantling the 10 Northeast state compact one of its prime objectives. That’s AFP, whose New Jersey leader Steve Lonegan was Christie’s GOP primary opponent for governor, whose Tea Party followers spent most of Christie’s first year kvetching he wasn’t conservative enough, AFP, front group for oil and coal interests, largely underwritten by the Koch Brothers, billionaires David and Charles. Kinda people rising GOP stars need. Dig it.
Sarlo: Inclined to blame Christie alone for all this? Think again. When he became the first Democrat to support AFP’s anti-RGGI efforts, Sen. Paul Sarlo gave Christie’s decision some Democratic cover. Yes, that’s Sarlo behind the sign: I Am AFP!
Christie’s had just a craptastic week – sagging poll numbers at home (you know, where it counts), a star-turn robo-call for the GOP loser in hot race NY-26, a Supreme Court ruling that undercuts his whole education zeitgeist. Worse, even reporters who used to be dazzled by him are beginning to report on his excesses, and his whole bluster and bullshit act is beginning to wear (except, apparently in Iowa). I’m sure he wants to get you talking about something else, anything but all that.
Dummies: This is an intelligent governor who nonetheless plays to the dummy chunk of his base by going along with the claim that there’s insufficient proof of human-caused global climate change (yay, let’s burn fuel and make our pals richer). Rutgers scientists even gave him a quiet science lesson. Sierra Club is apoplectic, roaring out with a 1432-word press release I won’t recount here (not posted at their site yet). But it makes a pretty good case that Christie’s choosing to make things easier for corporate polluters and the coal industry at the expense of your health. And that it has created (or saved) jobs, cut emissions and is supported by the state’s major utilities. Christie’s already raided $65 million from RGGI, money meant to support clean energy programs, diverted to the budget deficit.
RGGi is a first-of-its-kind initiative, and threats to it are national enviro news. NRDC just posted this poll that shows New Jerseyans will probably think their governor’s headed in the wrong direction – increasingly.
Sierra Club NJ is the source of this list of how the Christie administration has rolled back clean energy problems and undercut the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: