Tag Archive: RGGI

Election Day News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011

Today’s the Day!

Vote Today 

 Shuffling the Deck Chairs

 Other Political News

 Christie is Consistent in his Inconsistency

 Victory in the Battle of Trenton


The Next Election

 I Miss NJN

 New Jersey Parks

 New Jersey Roads

 Is Scarlet Fever the Cure for Penn State’s Offense?

 The Chutzpah Award goes to…




Koch Brothers Punk’d by Own Climate Change Study

Hey David Koch: you just got punk’d.

The Koch Brothers, it seems, paid for a study to show that global warming is not real. The only problem: the study showed that global warming is real. And noted physicist Richard Muller – one of the global warming deniers relied upon by Koch to have a “debate” about climate change – has now recanted based on the findings of the study.

What impact might this have on another one of Koch’s franchisees, Governor Chris Christie?

Christie has, in a move based on a strategic calculation that the public is stupid or doesn’t care, agreed that global warming is real. But, as this picture on Politico well represents, he is throwing up his hands on doing anything real about it.

So he gets to have it both ways – be feted by the Koch brothers at secret gatherings for pulling out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, while also claiming that he agrees with the science.

Perhaps this is a harbinger of a new national Koch strategy now that the denial train has run into a major roadblock. Say that global warming is real – but that there’ just nothing we can do about it. Watch for it in months to come…

GOP Doublespeak

“People, Not Politics.” That’s the tag line on the yard signs for the GOP candidates in the 7th Legislative District. And it’s about as misleading as Fox’s tag line, “Fair and Balanced.”

I’ve written before about how the head of the ticket, Senator Diane Allen, puts politics before people. Her silence during the Senate debate on women’s health care and her failure to vote to override the governor’s veto were clearly political and not in the best interests of the people of Burlington County. This course of action flies in the face of her past record of independence from the party hacks, but it seems that she has transformed into just another Republican who votes lock step with their Tea Party leaders. Putting politics ahead of people was also her choice in supporting the governor’s paean to the Koch brothers by promoting increases in respiratory diseases with the withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

As bad as that is, her running mates are even more anti-people and pro-politics. Mount Laurel Mayor Jim Keenan, who flip-flopped on his position on the 2% property tax cap (perhaps under the influence of Trenton politicians?) is not in favor of allowing two people who are in love to marry. He and his running mate, businessman Chris Halgas, are strongly committed to marriage discrimination. Both subscribe to the failed premise that tax cuts promote jobs, thus putting corporations in front of people on their priority list. And I suppose their slogan is accurate if you consider the subset of people who are millionaires. All three support tax breaks for the wealthy while cutting services to the other 99%.

Allen, Keenan, and Halgas are certainly entitled to campaign on whatever platform their political masters gin up for them. But don’t give the voters Orwellian Doublespeak when you frame this pro-wealthy anti-middle class agenda as “People, Not Politics.” 

GOP Doublespeak 


Christie is David Koch’s “kind of guy”. Is he yours?

We recently heard that billionaire right wing financier David Koch called Governor Christie “my kind of guy” in a double secret keynote speech that Christie recently gave at a super secret Koch sponsored conference.  With that, I put this little video together highlighting what else David Koch is into, and makes me wonder whether others know why someone like David Koch would be so enamored with Christie.


Chris Christie, MD

Suppose that a young Chris Christie had decided to go to medical school instead of law school. What kind of doctor would he be?

To answer this question, we need to look inside Christie’s character. We know that he doesn’t support health care for women, so his practice would treat only men. That’s a given, but we need to look a little deeper.

Christie has demonstrated that he looks at every symptom as binary – either black or white. Like many of his ilk, there are no shades of gray – no nuance. This has been demonstrated repeatedly.

Christie’s pattern of quid pro quo – what else is he planning?

On the heels of the revelations of Governor Christie’s secret trip and turn as keynote speaker at the Koch retreat, a new interest was stirred up in Governor Christie’s interesting timing when he withdrew New Jersey from the RGGI (something that we noted here back in early June), since “Coptergate” was all about Christie meeting with Koch-related individuals.

But this longstanding pattern of Christie giving out favors, no bid deals and apparently now policy issues to special interests who donate money or help his career in exchange for him giving them money goes back at least as far as him first getting the job as US Attorney – and should be used as a tale of caution as his decisions are made, policies are pushed or actions are taken – even more so since he is vice chairman of the RGA.

Let’s take a trip down a long and troubled memory lane:

And that is just to name a few bigger ones that we know about.  

The timing of Christie’s meeting with Koch-related Republican donors and the RGGI pullout is highly suspect.  The Kochs have their fingers in a great number of industries and interests – many of which have an impact on New Jersey.  Given the Koch’s behavior and money, and Christie’s love for quid pro quo to further his ego and political ambitions, every action he takes should be viewed with this lens and skepticism.

Equivocation of the Week

As reported in the Star-Ledger on Friday Governor Christie vetoed  a bill S2946 that would have required New Jersey to stay in a regional program (RGGI) intended to curb greenhouse gases – a program Christie plans to leave by the end of the year.

Nonetheless, in announcing the veto he also said “climate change is real.” He added, “Human activity plays a role in these changes,” and climate change is “impacting our state.”

So Christie’s position on global warming and climate change has evolved since November when he stated he was  skeptical that global warming was caused by humans. However, his political response remains the same.  

As Frank Sinatra might have sung,

“My friend, I’ll say it clear.

I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

The record shows I took the blows and did it BOTH ways!”

Livestreaming the RGGI Debate

Tonight, the Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel and Americans for Prosperity’s Steve Lonegan are debating the merits of New Jersey’s (soon to be non-) participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. I’ll be there, but I thought I’d post the live stream for those interested who can’t make it.

The debate is scheduled for 7p, but if it hasn’t quite started yet, you probaby have time to check out a description of the event, and extensive links with background information on RGGI, Click Here. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fireworks:

Live broadcast by Ustream

RGGI Debate: Lonegan v. Tittel (but so much more)

Remember RGGI? That’s the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – the first real effort nationally to implement a “cap and trade” system in an effort to use market forces to reduce greenhouse gases. By most accounts, the program has been a success, raising hundreds of millions of dollars, while reducing carbon emissions, in ten northeastern states controlled by both democrats and republicans.

It really didn’t seem too controversial in the Garden State, until this Spring, when Gov. Christie pulled NJ out of the program, a move most observers called pandering to a right-wing national audience, and which infuriated environmental groups. It got even more controversial when Democratic Sen. Paul Sarlo showed up for a press conference with “Americans for Prosperity” chief, Steve Lonegan, to announce his opposition to RGGI as well. Sarlo was soon followed by Sen. Nick Sacco and Sen. Jeff Van Drew in supporting the Christie move.

This prompted Sen. Barbara Buono (hey, why didn’t they poll her against Christie the other day?) to write a post here on Blue Jersey calling out what she saw as a huge mistake, and other democrats in the Senate and Assembly to propose blocking Christie’s move. Obviously, divisions within the party had begun, even before all the allegations about “fake democrats” and “Christiecrats” caught fire during the pension and budget battles.

Confused yet? I confess, I could use some education on the subject. So, I’m looking forward to next Wednesday’s forum: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Asset or Liability for New Jersey?, featuring none other than AFP’s Steve Lonegan and the Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel. (Professor Alain L. Sanders, a member of the Political Science Department of St. Peter’s College, will moderate the discussion.)

It’s next Wednesday, July 27, 2011 from 7 to 9pm at the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, 687 Larch Ave, Teaneck, NJ, presented by Bergen Grassroots (DFA). See some of you there, and maybe just maybe we’ll learn a few things – about RGGI, and about where our state is headed.

NJ’s RGGI Pullout: the Latest Christie-Koch Wink-Nod?

As noted by our own KendalJames, the lead Iowa Republican funder who Governor Christie met with during “CopterGate” was Koch business partner Bruce Rastetter.  There is a very interesting history between Rastetter, the Koch brothers, their business interests and Chris Christie – and given Christie’s history of rewarding his cronies with lucrative contracts, this more than bears watching closely.

Let’s connect some very big dots.

Rastetter is a major early seed money donor to the very shady “American Future Fund” (“AFF”).  In 2010, both the AFF and the Koch Industries PAC were involved in the Adler/Runyan Congressional race, as was Christie, who recorded an ad for Runyan in the closing days of the campaign.

Earlier this year, a Koch subsidiary, Flint Hills Resources Renewables LLC acquired Rastetter’s ethanol plants in an all cash deal.  At the beginning of this past May, it was first reported that Rastetter, among others, would be coming to New Jersey in order to sweet talk Christie.  As part of the report, Rastetter said the following about Christie:

“There isn’t anyone like Chris Christie on the national scene for Republicans,” Rastetter said. “And so we believe that he, or someone like him, running for president is very important at this critical time in our country.”


“He clearly understands smaller government, less government spending, job creation, and how to create a better education system – certainly, all the things I and those accompanying me care about,”

Around three weeks later, Christie, in an about face from his lies campaign talk, decides to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”).  This is also on the heels of a year-long multi-million dollar campaign by the Koch front group “Americans for Prosperity” to derail RGGI.  Christie also announces that he will come out with his own “alternate energy plan”.


Over the next two weeks, Christie gets the visit from Rastetter and his delegation, and releases his energy plan, which lowers New Jersey’s goal for renewable energy by almost 1/3.

We don’t (yet) know what was discussed or promised in the meeting with Rastetter, Christie and the others in the delegation.  And we don’t yet know the details of Christie’s energy program.  But we do know how Christie and the shady Republican front groups operate in terms of following the money and the resulting actions.  And with the history of these individuals along with their positions, this is something that a very close eye needs to be kept on.