NJ’s RGGI Pullout: the Latest Christie-Koch Wink-Nod?

As noted by our own KendalJames, the lead Iowa Republican funder who Governor Christie met with during “CopterGate” was Koch business partner Bruce Rastetter.  There is a very interesting history between Rastetter, the Koch brothers, their business interests and Chris Christie – and given Christie’s history of rewarding his cronies with lucrative contracts, this more than bears watching closely.

Let’s connect some very big dots.

Rastetter is a major early seed money donor to the very shady “American Future Fund” (“AFF”).  In 2010, both the AFF and the Koch Industries PAC were involved in the Adler/Runyan Congressional race, as was Christie, who recorded an ad for Runyan in the closing days of the campaign.

Earlier this year, a Koch subsidiary, Flint Hills Resources Renewables LLC acquired Rastetter’s ethanol plants in an all cash deal.  At the beginning of this past May, it was first reported that Rastetter, among others, would be coming to New Jersey in order to sweet talk Christie.  As part of the report, Rastetter said the following about Christie:

“There isn’t anyone like Chris Christie on the national scene for Republicans,” Rastetter said. “And so we believe that he, or someone like him, running for president is very important at this critical time in our country.”

[snip]

“He clearly understands smaller government, less government spending, job creation, and how to create a better education system – certainly, all the things I and those accompanying me care about,”

Around three weeks later, Christie, in an about face from his lies campaign talk, decides to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”).  This is also on the heels of a year-long multi-million dollar campaign by the Koch front group “Americans for Prosperity” to derail RGGI.  Christie also announces that he will come out with his own “alternate energy plan”.

 

Over the next two weeks, Christie gets the visit from Rastetter and his delegation, and releases his energy plan, which lowers New Jersey’s goal for renewable energy by almost 1/3.

We don’t (yet) know what was discussed or promised in the meeting with Rastetter, Christie and the others in the delegation.  And we don’t yet know the details of Christie’s energy program.  But we do know how Christie and the shady Republican front groups operate in terms of following the money and the resulting actions.  And with the history of these individuals along with their positions, this is something that a very close eye needs to be kept on.

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