Dismantling the EPA

Chris Christie has been a disaster for New Jersey’s environment. From his pull out from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to his stacking the Pinelands and Highlands Commissions with his proles, Christie has been a friend of polluters, not people. Here he is in Iowa, bragging about his dismal record.

Comment (1)

  1. deciminyan (Post author)

    Here’s the Sierra Club’s response to the content of the video:

    For Immediate Release

    March 9, 2015

    Contact Jeff Tittel 609-558-9100

    Christie says, “I am Dismantling Environmental Protections”

    Saturday night while in Iowa, Governor Christie made some very troubling and disturbing statements about the environment in New Jersey. The Governor said that “the person who started the EPA’s overreach was Lisa Jackson, who came from New Jersey,…. and I have spent the last five years dismantling her overreach in the area of environmental protection.”‘

    “The Governor told the people of Iowa something that he would not tell the people of New Jersey. We have seen his dismantling of environmental programs for the last five years first hand. The Governor is finally admitting that he is trying to roll back forty years of environmental progress and that he is the worst environmental Governor in our state’s history. He boasted this in Iowa because he wants to curry favor with the right wing voters there and he is more concerned about them rather than protecting the people of New Jersey,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

    We worked with Lisa Jackson and sometimes we were on the same side and sometimes we had policy disagreements. Here were some of the major policy changes made by Lisa Jackson while at NJDEP:

    Flood Hazard Rules – These rules were a step forward in trying to limit and regulate development in flood prone areas.  They were a compromise and were relatively modest. The good thing was that it required stream buffers but added a lot of new general permits that would allow for an increase in development in some flood prone areas.

    Water Quality Planning Rules – The purpose of the rules was to try to encourage development in urban areas and where there was existing sewers and tried to discourage development in environmentally sensitive and flood prone areas. These rules were a compromise on a compromise with some environmental groups actually opposing them because they were not strong enough. The Sierra Club supported the rules because they were a step forward, even if there were some serious problems with the rule.

    Public Access Rules – These rules required additional public access for development along the coast allowing the people of NJ to get access to the ocean and waterways that belong to all of us.

    RGGI – These rules were part of a multi-state compact that required New Jersey to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fund energy efficiency programs, creating 1,800 jobs.  RGGI was started by Republican Governor George Pataki and was working.

    Jackson also opened the Office of Climate Change to develop and implement policies to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to work on adaptation and mitigation for climate impacts.

    Jackson raised the Energy Master Plan’s goals from 22.5% in 2021 to 30% by 2020 which would have created thousands of jobs.

    “These proposals that Governor Christie calls overreaching went through stakeholder processes not only with environmentalists but with the business community as well. There were a series of negotiations and compromises with the business community to the dismay of the environmental community.  Rules such as the Flood Hazard Rules and Water Quality Planning Rules were upheld in court.  The only overreach is Governor Christie’s anti-environmental agenda where he is more concerned about taking care of corporate polluters and developers than he is about protecting New Jersey’s environment,” said Tittel.

    “What Governor Christie calls an overreach were programs and policies to help protect New Jersey from flooding and climate change impacts, the same things that caused such devastation with Hurricanes Sandy and Irene where people lost lives and property. Governor Christie has closed the Office of Climate Change, pulled us out of RGGI, stolen a billion dollars out of the Clean Energy Fund, repealed the Public Access Rules, has rolled back the Water Quality Planning Rules, repealed the 30% goal, has crashed the solar market and refused to implement the Off Shore Wind Law and is about to severely weaken the Flood Hazard Rules. Governor Christie’s policies are putting more people and property in harm’s way. Instead of learning the lessons from Hurricane Sandy we have a Governor who is actually going to make our state more vulnerable to the next storm,” said Tittel.

    New Jersey was second in the nation in solar and we are now seventh in solar installations. We had 10,000 jobs in solar and we now have only 5,500. By pulling out of RGGI, our state lost $1.25 million in revenue and more than 1,800 jobs.

    “Since Governor Christie has come into office we have had more than 19 major weather events including a super storm followed by a Nor’easter, which is supposed to be a millennium event.  We also had a hurricane followed by a tropical storm, which is another millennium event. Last week, the Governor said even his son blamed him for the weather. When you deny climate change; when you roll back important protections against flooding and sea level rise; and when you eliminate programs to reduce greenhouse gas, what would you expect, more floods and climate impacts.  When you side with the Koch brothers and big oil over the environment and the people of New Jersey, then maybe you are to blame for the impacts from the weather.  Nature may bring the storms but Governor Christie’s policies have made them much worse,” said Tittel.

    “For years the Governor has said one thing to the people of New Jersey while his policies have done the opposite. He said he wanted to clean up Barnegat Bay. He wanted to promote renewable energy. He was going to increase enforcement of environmental laws. He was going to strengthen DEP’s core programs. Instead he has weakened or rolled back regulations, attached the Highlands and the Pinelands, vetoed important legislation to protect us from fracking, sold out the people along the Passaic River and given Exxon the biggest tax break in history with the settlement of the lawsuit from $8.9 billion dollars to $225 million.  When will he tell the people of New Jersey what he told the people of Iowa? Maybe he doesn’t have to,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *