As you have heard by now, the New Jersey Environmental Federation endorsed Chris Christie as the environmental candidate for Governor.
We expect this decision has caught many of you by surprise for many reasons. But after detailed and careful scrutiny, we found Christie's environmental agenda to be the strongest of any gubernatorial candidate. For details, continue reading below, or visit our original endorsement announcement or Christie's impressive green agenda on his website .
Governor Corzine was not our environmental candidate of choice because he has repeatedly broken promises and weakened key environmental and public health protections, including not protecting 300 miles of our most highly vulnerable and important waterways that could have been protected through Category 1 designation; supporting stop-gap measures for open space funding that puts us further in debt and repeatedly breaking commitments to secure a long-term stable source of open space funding; and allowing polluters oversight of their own cleanups.
Contrary to Corzine, Christie has committed to the following as you already know:
- Increasing protections for our most vulnerable and important waterways through the state's Category 1 program;
- Replenishing the state's bankrupt open space program;
- Requiring the state's nuclear plants to stop their destruction in and around Barnegat Bay and the Delaware River;
- Opposing the proposed coal plant in Linden; and
- Issuing an executive order to reduce killer diesel soot pollution.
There are many other important pieces to his agenda that have gotten less attention. Chris Christie is:
- FOR making it easier for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to just say no to environmental injustice and better protect communities already overburdened with disproportionate pollution problems;
- FOR stricter oversight of Corzine's program that gives polluters control of cleaning up toxic sites and AGAINST extending this control to NJDEP's land use programs;
- FOR greater environmental enforcement, including more resources and restoring enforcement and science programs cut by Corzine, and AGAINST further depleting NJDEP funds to balance the budget;
- FOR giving the financial and other benefits of health, life and natural resources equal footing to traditional costs in implementing public health and environmental protections;
- NOT in support of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) facilities in New Jersey waters;
- FOR fixing the flawed process that's allowing the Highlands Council to push forward environmentally destructive utility lines that will tear up the NJ Highlands;
- FOR aggressive implementation of the Global Warming Response Act and Energy Master Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with greater emphasis on clean renewables and energy efficiency;
- FOR reforming the State Plan and Coalition for Affordable Housing to better protect the environment while also meeting other societal goals; and
- AGAINST taking away NJDEP powers to protect the environment and public health by giving others, such as a board stacked with builders and representatives of the chemical industry, a veto over NJDEP decisions.
Jon Corzine has rejected the right position on the vast majority of the New Jersey Environmental Federation's priority environmental issues, including the ones listed above. Chris Daggett has an admirable resume but his environmental agenda is much less specific and comprehensive. Daggett also lacks the support needed to change the status quo.
And the status quo needs to be changed! The governor's and Democratic-led Legislature's inability or unwillingness to ensure good, ethical government and strong leadership has led to a poor environmental record and public distrust. Neither the environment nor New Jersey as a whole can afford one party dominance -- we are best served with balance.
That's why it's time for a change, real change, positive change. And the best chance for that change for New Jersey and for the environment right now is Chris Christie.
NJEF Campaign Director