Tag Archive: Koch Brothers

Not Ready for Hillary… or Bernie… or Martin…

While the media frenzy for the 2016 presidential election is already in full swing, there’s an election this year that arguably has more impact on New Jersey citizens. For the first time since 1999, the statewide races for the General Assembly are at the top of the ballot.

Most pundits predict little or no change in the balance of power in that chamber. The districts are gerrymandered to protect incumbents who already have a leg up on any opposition. Democrats are sure to retain control of the Assembly, aren’t they?

Does Donald Norcross Support Dirty Energy?

I actually like Donald Norcross. I’ve had a chance to have a couple of one-on-one conversations with him, and he’s a really pleasant individual. But as a Congressman, he has a lot of room for improvement.

Recently, he granted C-SPAN an extended interview on their call-in program. You can listen to the whole thing below the fold. I’ll admit that I only listened to a small part of it. But that was enough.

Norcross was proud to respond to the moderator’s question about one of his first votes in Congress – a vote to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline. Norcross claims it is about jobs, but this pipeline does not create any significant number of permanent jobs. Or even temporary ones. Instead, it creates a ticking time bomb plowing through America’s heartland waiting to spew its inevitable leaks into the water supply and crop fields that are so important to our people. It’s a paean to the oil lobby and not much else. It’s difficult for me to understand why Norcross’ response to why he supports the pipeline is “safety”, when just the opposite is true.

Norcross’ responses sound more like they came from Tom MacArthur and made me wonder which party Norcross belongs to. Apparently the moderator had the same conundrum, inadvertently calling Norcross a “Republican” during the interview.

We need to create jobs. Keystone XL doesn’t do that. But an accelerated program to invest in renewable energy does. Don’t be fooled by low gas prices. The Saudis and the Koch Brothers are smart people, and by keeping these prices temporarily low, it discourages investment in clean energy. But those clean energy investments create jobs – good jobs. Even for electricians. This is a lesson that Congressman Norcross needs to learn.

QoTD: “the only tidbit”

Quote of the Day goes to Matt Katz:

As New Jerseyans by the tens of thousands were hours away from the biggest climate change march in history – in NYC and around the world – Christie was – in your face, science – hobnobbing with GOP money bigshots convened by the Koch brothers who are firmly on the side of wrecking the environment for their almighty dollar.

The dinner was firmly off-limits to the press, so we don’t know much beyond the fact that Christie made food jokes to the party, and how much poundage he’s dropped.

We do know that Christie is capable of letting NJ policy be driven by what serves the Kochs and their ilk, who don’t open their wallets for candidates that put the interests of their states ahead of the interests of guys like the Kochs. Don’t need reporters in the room to know that much.  

Let’s Drink to a Victory for Clean Water

The New Jersey Sierra Club is reporting that the Pinelands Commission has rejected the proposal to build a natural gas pipeline through the ecologically sensitive region spanning parts of seven counties in South Jersey.

While the battle to maintain clean air and water continues in New Jersey under a pollution-friendly Governor, this small victory is a welcome one.

Industry and residences have a voracious appetite for energy here and in other states. We need to invest in projects that feed this appetite while promoting conservation. But the long-term payoff for this investment must consider the total cost of ownership including the burden on taxpayers for clean up of spills and other residual pollution. That’s where wind, solar, and geothermal power sources, along with distributed generation and smart grids will help us meet our energy needs.

The Sierra Club’s press release is below the fold.

Chris Christie’s Legacy

It’s the time of year when pundits ponder about the past and contemplate the future. So what’s the early line on the legacy of Chris Christie as he wraps up his first term as the Ruler of New Jersey?

Christie entered the scene as a relatively unknown minion of the ethically-challenged Alberto Gonzalez U.S. Justice Department. He stretched the limits of his powers by ignoring the best interests of the middle class by cancelling much-needed projects like the ARC tunnel and by throwing precedent down the toilet by politicizing the state Supreme Court.

But over time, these misdeeds are addressable in the near term and won’t be a major factor in Christie’s first-term legacy. Marriage Equality, which I believe Christie fought on ideological and not personal conviction, is here to stay. Vital infrastructure projects will suffer for the next four years, but our senators at the federal level are addressing some of these projects. So far, the State Senate is holding firm on keeping the Supreme Court as even-handed as it can.

There is one area, however, that will be with us long after 2016 that will define Christie’s first term legacy.

New Jersey’s environment is as fragile as it is vital. Keeping our water pure and our air clean is not a one-term initiative, but must be a sustained effort over the long run. And like herding cats that escape from an enclosure, fixing problems that we create takes much more time than it did to create them.

Clean air and water know no geographical boundaries. Cooperation with adjacent states is essential. Yet, Christie has been in the pocket of his dirty energy barons from Day One. He was behind the firing of the executive director of the Highlands Commission and refused to allow the head of the Pinelands Commission to get involved in the deliberations on a gas pipeline through that protected region. Christie’s refusal to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will be a factor in the increased severity of future hurricanes. His refusal to ban fracking waste will invariably leave a legacy of cleanup costs and pollution for future generations. Christie has put roadblocks in front of the development of clean wind energy, and so wind-friendly states like Maryland will reap the benefits of more jobs and less pollution.

Sadly, the more we ignore the environment, the longer it will take to fix the problems that are being compounded by Christie’s policies. Even if the next governor is more environmentally-friendly, he or she will face the ever deepening hole being dug by Christie’s policies.

Regardless of Christie’s second-term performance, his disdain for our air and water and his genuflecting at the feet of the Koch Brothers and their ilk will be the legacy that New Jerseyans will have to live with for a long time.

NJDSC releases a web ad making light of Steve Lonegan’s ‘obsession’ with Cory Booker

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee has a new communications director – Matt Farrauto. Today, DSC released a new web ad that makes fun of the mileage Koch brothers-fueled Steve Lonegan is getting by mentioning Cory Booker’s name – a lot – as he goes around the state (and quite a lot in Newark). The conclusion? A laundry list of the things Lonegan’s actually about, which wouldn’t fly in most places in New Jersey.

What do you think, Blue Jersey?