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The Governor Talks Green but Needs to Be Green

Date : Wed, 25 Feb 2009 12:26:09 -0500

For Immediate Release
February 25, 2009 Contact: Jeff Tittel, Chapter Director, (609) 558-9100

The Governor Talks Green but Needs to Be Green

Trenton - Governor Jon Corzine took the opportunity to see the first green affordable housing project today in Jersey City. While it's nice that he went for this pleasant photo op, the Governor is actually standing in the way of progress towards more green building projects throughout the state.

"The Governor wants to talk green and then have photo ops replace real policy," said New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel. "Green buildings shouldn't be a novelty, they should be the norm."

As a candidate, Governor Corzine committed to establishing a green buildings program and green building rules. As Governor, he made green building codes a cornerstone of his Energy Master Plan. His Greenhouse Gas Plan is considered a key part of implementing the state's Global Warming Response Act. However, the Governor has not only lacked leadership on this issue, he has backed away form his commitments.

As recently as last month, Governor Corzine said this about his position on expanding energy efficiency programs into the private sector: "We have looked at green building codes as a possibility but given the down turn in the economy we can not support any mandates."

The Governor's position will prove to be a setback to the state's environmental and economic health. "Without green building codes, the state will not only fail to meet its targets for saving energy and reducing greenhouse gasses, but New Jersey's consumers will loose out on millions of dollars from energy savings," Tittel said.

"What is even more troubling is that New Jersey's failure to adopt green building codes will cost us billions of dollars in federal monies from President Obama's stimulus package," Tittel said. Under phase two of the stimulus bill, states that have implemented energy efficiency, green building, and decoupling plans will be entitled to round two of the funds. Conversely, states that have not been proactive in implementing these types of plans will forfeit the phase two monies.

"Green building codes will not only reduce greenhouse gasses in the state, but will also help to stimulate New Jersey's economy by promoting new industry and creating jobs," Tittel said. "Jobs will be generated to produce the green building products and in construction. The negative economic effect of failing to implement a green building program will be compounded if we loose federal money."

"The Governor, under existing law, could change the state building codes to be more energy efficient and greener," Tittel said. "He could also help support and pass the green building legislation that passed the assembly but got stuck in the senate. When it comes to buildings, the Governor talks green but he needs to be green."

Kara Seymour, Program Assistant NJ Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618

609.656.7612

(f) 609.656.7618

<http://www.newjersey.sierraclub.org> www.newjersey.sierraclub.org

Received on 2009-02-25 10:30:02

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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