Tag Archive: Doug O’Malley

The Real Poop on Fracking

BY DECIMINYAN At last night’s “Clean and Green” event in Trenton, Environment New Jersey’s Doug O’Malley described the dangers inherent in the fracking boom. There’s a lot of risk involved in going forward with an initiative that would only provide…
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Judge rules in favor of Exxon and the State

Superior Court Judge Hogan (retired) ruled today, “The court finds that the proposed consent judgment is fair, reasonable, in the public interest, and consistent with the goals of the Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”). It therefore approves the Consent Judgment.”

The judge begins his written opinion stating, “Nearly any consent decree can be viewed simultaneously as ‘a crackdown’ or ‘a sellout.'” Environmentalists today say the Exxon and NJDEP settlement for $225 million of natural resource damages estimating more than $9 billion is a sellout. “We believe this settlement is wrong and violates the Spill Act and the Public Trust Doctrine and sells out Natural Resource Damages.” The groups plan to appeal the decision to the Appellate Court. 

“The Judge has rubberstamped the biggest corporate subsidy in state history,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

“Exxon’s massive damage to New Jersey’s environment couldn’t have been more clear. Today’s decision by the Court sadly rubberstamps the Christie Administration’s sell-out settlement. This settlement still stinks,” said Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey.”

 

“Our Delaware River has been done a great disservice by this settlement. That the Court would sign off on this sell out by the Christie Administration without even giving us our fair day in Court is a travesty,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. 

 

“If this seal of approval of the dirty deal between Governor Christie and Exxon Mobil is not overturned, it not only codifies it’s OK to destroy the environment and rip-off taxpayers, but provides a road map to encourage it,” said David Pringle, NJ Campaign Director, Clean Water Action.

Transit Fare Rally

In his post earlier today, josef outlined how the Democrats are complicit with our anti-worker governor in the hike of NJ Transit fares and the failure to raise revenue to cover mass transit and infrastructure.

Today, in front of the Capitol Annex, a coalition of advocacy groups under the umbrella of New Jersey for Transit spoke about this situation. Here are some highlights:

A full, unedited audio podcast will be posted in a few days. Names and affiliations of the speakers are below the fold.

E Pluribus Cleanum

Pipelines leaking toxic material into our water supply. Oil bomb trains traveling on antiquated infrastructure through our towns and villages. Fossil fuel plants spewing carcinogens into the air we breathe. These are the things we can look forward to if we conduct business as usual.

Today, a coalition of 36 environmental, religious, and activist groups announced the launch of a coalition to scrap  “business as usual” and jump start an aggressive campaign to address these problems.

Most of the actions taken by these individual groups to date have been in opposition of something – a pipeline through the Pinelands or processing of liquefied natural gas, a highly explosive and dangerous endeavor. Each group has done its own thing, often without specific goals other than to shut down a harmful project.

Now, the coalition is going head on with the dirty fuel industry by promoting the eventual elimination of these energy sources in favor of renewable energy. In a nutshell, they are proposing that our electricity be generated 100% from renewables by 2030, and the we totally eliminate dirty energy by 2050. These are realistic goals based academic research being conducted at Stanford University.

Environmental Kumbaya (Almost)

New Jersey Senate Energy and Environment Committee Chairman Bob Smith noted today that on the environment, there should be no disagreements. Of course, we know that this is not the case with our current governor who puts the interests of his dirty energy donors ahead of clean air and water for New Jerseyans.

Several bills and resolutions were heard at Smith’s committee this morning. All but one passed with unanimous, bipartisan support. There was universal agreement on technical items related to the Environmental Infrastructure Trust (low-interest loans for certain projects), and the installation of automobile charging stations at rest areas on New Jersey’s major tollways.

The capstone of today’s meeting was SCR-163, a proposed amendment to the New Jersey Constitution to “dedicate all State moneys received from settlements and awards in cases of environmental contamination for certain environmental purposes.”

An Interview with ENJ’s Doug O’Malley

For those basking in the schadenfreude of Chris Christie’s tribulations, don’t take any pleasure in the fact that the traffic jams are gone today and he’ll be gone in two years. His lasting legacy will not be Bridgegate, but rather the dereliction in his duty to protect New Jersey’s air and water.

While the governor has placed the wants of the dirty fuel industries and big business above the health and welfare of those he’s sworn to serve, there are groups who are working to counter his actions. One such group is Environment New Jersey, and I spoke with their Director, Doug O’Malley today.

Rethink the 2016 NJ Budget: The Cost of Budget Raids

This is the 2nd post in our 7-week budget priority series with the Anti-Poverty Network, Rethink the 2016 NJ Budget, with posts every Monday & Wednesday at noon. Doug O’Malley is director of Environment New Jersey, a state-wide environmental organization representing more than 20,000 citizen members, based in Trenton & New Brunswick. Promoted by Rosi


Rethink the 2016 NJ Budget

It’s spring (finally). In Trenton, that can only mean the scramble for dollars to meet the budget deadline is heating up – and to make the numbers work money that isn’t constitutionally dedicated could soon be magically flowing into the General Fund.

This budgetary funny business of raiding dedicated funds affects both parties. During the McGreevey years, the most egregious examples were the raids of historic tobacco settlements of billions of dollars. And let us not forget that the 1995 to 2005 raids of the state’s unemployment insurance funds totaling more than $4 billion were a bipartisan affair.

The bluster from the Christie Administration would make it seem like the governor’s budgets are above these shenanigans. In fact, the first four budgets of the Christie Administration relied more heavily on one-shot revenue fixes than the four budgets under the Corzine Administration – and leaned more heavily on dedicated fund raids. This year’s proposed budget looks like more of the same – but the funding raids especially hit environmental and public health causes. Here’s a quick hit-list of the real world impact of these ongoing raids:

Woman caulking to weatherproof

  • The Big Kahuna: More than a $1 billion ratepayer dollars, earmarked for energy efficiency and clean energy projects, has already been raided by the Christie Administration over the last five fiscal years (not including this year). It’s the repeated target for budget-filling dollars from the Front Office and legislators. The consequence? This snowballing trend has become the perfect crime of budget politics. The initial raids meant that energy efficiency companies cut way back on weatherization programs for home-owners, laying off staff who they had recently hired. Some even went out of business. Now with less of a constituency, the FY16 budget continues the trend, with $66 million of Clean Energy Funds diverted to NJ Transit. But just in case you thought one wrong makes a right…
  • QoTD: President Obama’s legacy

    Quote of the Day today is from Doug O’Malley of Environment New Jersey, who joins NJ leaders calling out the White House for a decision that opens New Jersey to enormous risk of damage to NJ’s beautiful territory.

    With the news that the federal Interior Department is lifting a 5-year moratorium on drilling in coastal waters along part of the Eastern seaboard, there was quick response from several of the members of NJ’s congressional delegation.

    In a joint statement, senators Menendez and Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone, who represents shore towns in Monmouth, issued a joint statement, warning that the economic consequences of an oil spill near our coastline would be catastrophic. That concern was echoed by a tweet from Rep. Frank LoBiondo who reps towns along many miles of South Jersey shoreline. At the other end of the state, Rep. Bill Pascrell, whose interior district fronts marshland and the Hudson, commented that the risks outweigh the benefits.

    Gov. Christie, fleece-clad and reassuring, vaulted into the national mindset as the face of Sandy recovery – this, before New Jerseyans saw how incompetent at recovery his administration was to be. That’s less a concern to national GOP voters, they’re still grooving on his hollow image. But this move by the White House leaves Christie in a weird position. He’s spoken out against drilling off NJ’s shore in the past. But that was before. Now that he’s vying for the GOP nomination, coming out against Atlantic drilling might not sit so well with some people whose checks he craves for 2016.  

    The Death of Democracy in Burlington County

    If Burlington Republican Freeholders truly thought Sean Earlen was the best choice for this important role, why did they do everything possible to elevate him with as little transparency and public consideration possible? Pulling this up top again because the GOP did this Thanksgiving eve, when they knew the news cycle was shut down. – Rosi

    “This wouldn’t pass muster in Trenton”

    That’s a quote from Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey upon witnessing the pure disdain for the citizens of Burlington County exhibited by the Republican majority on the Freeholder Board on the morning before Thanksgiving.

    The issue was the nomination of Sean Earlen as the county’s representative to the Pinelands Commission, a body whose mission is “Preserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural and cultural resouces of the Pinelands National Reserve.”

    The Reserve is an area of 1.1 million acres spanning parts of seven South Jersey counties. It was created by Congress 35 years ago in partnership with the state to ensure that this environmental gem thrives. It’s the largest such reserve between Maine and the Everglades.

    Earlen is a member of that commission and this action would keep him on for another five years. But the way this nomination was handled exemplifies the secrecy and lack of transparency of the Republican majority on the Freeholder Board.