While Governor Christie has received kudos for doing his job and leading New Jersey through its worst natural disaster in memory, we should not forget his dismal record on the environment. He’s been AWOL in development of offshore wind power, irresponsible in his action to withdraw the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and thoughtless in his blanket disposal of environmental protections in the wake of the Hurricane Sandy cleanup. He also vetoed a bill that would ban toxic chemicals from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the state. His rationale was that since New Jersey does not produce fracking waste, this is an unconstitutional discrimination against other states. Yet, the bill treats fracking waste from all states equally. Essentially, Christie is acting as both the executive and judicial branch, and is afraid to allow the judiciary to make the type of determination that they are constitutionally responsible for.
Sometime in the near future, there will be an attempt to override this veto. Today, Food & Water Watch held a series of demonstrations around the state to promote awareness of this clean water issue and urge citizens to contact their legislators in support of an override. The video below is from such a demonstration today in Cinnaminson. They are urging Senator Diane Allen, who voted for the ban, to continue on the side of the environment and vote to override the governor’s veto.
Trenton sources tell me that there are many Republicans in favor of an override but are unwilling or unable to contradict Governor Christie’s wishes. The hurricane has shown that there is a side of the governor willing to work across the aisle. The dynamics of the governor’s relationship to the Tea Party faction have changed. It’s time for the governor to send a clear message to his Republican colleagues and allow them to vote their conscience on the override motion. Governor Christie’s actions will surely tell us whether he wishes to continue his unholy alliance with the discredited Koch Brothers or if he sides with the health and well-being of New Jersey residents.
Below the fold: A list of legislators who voted against the ban.
The following Assemblypersons voted in favor of toxic water:
Mary Pat Angelini (R), Jon Bramnick (R), Chris A. Brown (R), Anthony Bucco (R), Michael Patrick Carroll (R), Gary Chiusano (R), Jack Ciatarelli (R), Wayne DeAngelo (D), John DiMaio (R), Sean Kean (R), Gregory McGuckin (R), Alison Littell McHose (R), Nancy Munoz (R), Erik Peterson (R), David Rible (R), Scott Rudder (R), Donna Simon (R), Jay Webber (R), David Wolfe (R)
Abstaining or not voting were Christopher J. Brown (R), Betty Lou DeCroce (R), Scott Rumana (R), Robert Schroeder (R)
The following Senators voted in favor of toxic water: Anthony Bucco (R), Gerald Cardinale (R), Michael Doherty (R), Steven Oroho (R), Joseph Pennacchio (R)
Abstaining or not voting were Dawn Addiego (R), Joe Kyrillos (R), Donald Norcross (D), Paul Sarlo (D), Sam Thompson (R)