Tag Archive: Exxon Mobil

The Christie EXXON Mobil Boondoggle

This coming week Burlington County Judge Michael Hogan will decide whether seven environmental groups and State Sen. Ray Lesniak can argue in court against the proposed pollution settlement between the Christie administration and EXXON Mobil. The group told the judge in oral arguments on Friday the state had abandoned the public interest by agreeing with EXXON Mobil to a settlement of only $225 million. “There’s no one in this case representing the legal interests of the people of New Jersey,” explained Sen. Lesniak on Friday.

In fact it’s all a boondoggle – a wasteful effort that only gives the appearance of having value. In 2006 Stratus Consulting prepared a report for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection on the natural resource damages at the Exxon Mobil Bayway and Bayonne sites. Its conclusion was “The cost of the on-site restoration is $2.5 billion. Additional off-site replacement is necessary to compensate for the decades of harm at the two facilities. The total cost of the plan for on- and off-site restoration is $8.9 billion.” Adding insult to injury the proposed settlement of $225 million was expanded to include EXXON Mobil gas stations and 16 other terminals, plants, research facilities and an airport.

The benefit for the administration with a structurally unbalanced budget is an immediate infusion of $225 million into the state coffers. In 2014 through a little known provision Christie gained authority to divert money obtained from pollution clean-up programs into the state’s general fund which suggests that after paying legal fees and diversion of the monies, little will be left for remediation. The detriment for the state and its residents is huge.

It’s a boondoggle for another key reason, and a higher settlement is essential.

Making things Right

Up until recently, the State of New Jersey figured it would take $9 billion to make things right at pollution sites that were created by Exxon Mobil Corporation. In a surprise move, the Christie administration proposed a $225 million settlement, less than 3% of the original value. Today in Trenton, I spoke with Senator Ray Lesniak on the impact of this settlement and how he proposes to make things right moving forward.

Click below, or subscribe to our podcasts to hear the interview.

Christie tries to govsplain developing Exxon scandal, goes after Campbell

When Gov. Christie’s back is to the wall because of problems/issues/mistakes/scandals/random crap that arises on his watch – or due to his own direct policy and decisions, Christie reverts to type. He blames others, and by name to avoid dirt sticking to him. Where, frankly, it often belongs.

And so it is that we get Christie’s statement of today as the Exxon Mobil controversy reaches critical mass and national news. This is Chris Christie trying to govsplain away what he just got caught doing, by trying to throw Bradley Campbell – who was commissioner of NJ DEP when the Exxon lawsuits were filed and wrote this in the N Y Times yesterday – under the bus.

Hat/tip Kevin Riordan of the Philadelphia Inquire. Try to contain your lunch:  

Watch: Lesniak on Maddow

Sen. Ray Lesniak interviewed last night by Rachel Maddow on the Christie administration’s baffling and sketchy decision to settle a nearly $9 billion legal action against Exxon Mobil that the state had been working on for a decade for just $250 million – about 3¢ on the dollar. What can be done, and where that money would go.

Brief ad. Video about 9 min. Lesniak set-up begins at about 2:38

Timing is Everything

There’s been a lot of hand wringing about Chris Christie’s gift to Exxon Mobil. He “negotiated” a settlement of an $8.9 billion environmental remediation suit to $250 million – less than 3% of the original value. It leaves the cleanup of these toxic sites unfunded, throws away the thousands of jobs that would have been created by this cleanup, and has many people scratching their heads about his motivation for what appears to be a foolish, fiscally-irresponsible stunt.

But say what you want about Christie – he’s no dummy. He is a conniving egotist whose only driving force is personal ambition.