LETTER People of NJ Concerned About Climate Change; Gov. Christie Policies Ignore Impacts

A new study confirms the majority of people of New Jersey believe climate change is happening and are concerned about the impacts.  Governor Christie has repealed progress our state has made to combat climate change pollution and implemented policies that could make the future impacts of climate change worse, despite 68% of state residents believing climate change is occurring.  While 59% of state residents are worried about the impacts of climate change, the Governor has slashed our clean energy goals, taken New Jersey out of RGGI ( a program to reduce climate change pollution), virtually crashed our solar market, and has not adapted hazard and mitigation planning along our coast in the recovery from Hurricane Sandy.  Instead Gov. Christie is more focused on appeasing national interests than putting in place policies to fight climate change supported by state residents and that will keep state resident safe.


“Gov. Chrisite doesn’t care about the opinion of the people of New Jersey, only the opinion of the Koch Brothers, Big Oil, and the Tea Party.  He is holding our state hostage for his national political ambitions, hurting our environment and economy,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of The New Jersey Sierra Club.  “The public gets it but Christie does not care.  People want action but Christie would rather campaign in New Hampshire.”


Governor Christie has closed the Office of Climate Change, stolen a billion dollars out of the Clean Energy Fund, repealed the 30% renewable energy goal in our Energy Master Plan, and refused to implement the Off Shore Wind Law.  He pulled New Jersey out of RGGI, costing the state $1.25 million in revenue and more than 1,800 jobs.  His policies have caused a crash in the solar market.  New Jersey was second in the nation in solar installations, now we are seventh. He has repealed the Public Access Rules, rolled back the Water Quality Planning Rules, and is about to severely weaken the Flood Hazard Rules.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.


Since Governor Christie came 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.


“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 gasses, what would you expect? More floods and climate impacts,” said Jeff Tittel. “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.”