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Sierra Club to Menendez: Please Don't Play Politics with the Environment

Date : Thu, 05 Mar 2009 12:39:29 -0500

For Immediate Release
March 5, 2009 Contact: Jeff Tittel, Chapter Director

(609) 558-9100

                        Trenton - The New Jersey Sierra Club is calling on Senator Robert Menendez to lift his holds on the confirmation of two presidential appointees that are critical to the advancement of environmental policy.

Sen. Menendez, who has been an environmental champion throughout his years in public service, is blocking votes to confirm Harvard University physicist John Holdren to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and marine biologist Jane Lubchenco to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Sen. Menendez is using the holds as leverage to protest a change to the country's policy with Cuba that is contained in the proposed spending bill.

"Sen. Menendez shouldn't use the environment to play politics," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the NJ Sierra Club. "We strongly believe Sen. Menendez should lift these blocks and let these very qualified nominees be confirmed. Blocking these appointments because of Cuban policy is akin to attacking Sweden for the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor."

The Chapter has sent out an action alert, calling on its 23,000 members to contact Sen. Menendez and urge him to lift the holds so Holdren and Lubchenco can be confirmed as soon as possible.

"Sen. Menendez is not only hurting the environment with the holds but is also standing in the way of President Obama," Tittel said. "Holdren and Lubchenco are vital to the advancement of the president's environmental agenda."

"While Sen. Menendez may have other important issues to raise, these appointments will help the environment and restore scientific credibility to the government," Tittel said. "They should not be used as pawns in political maneuvering. Holdren and Lubchenco must be confirmed as soon as possible and the country must begin making advancements on the many environmental problems that we face."

The Sierra Club has worked closely with Sen. Menendez on a number of environmental issues, such as global warming. "Obstructing environmental progress is extremely out of character for him," Tittel said. "Because of this, the Sierra Club is putting pressure on Sen. Menendez to uphold his good environmental record by removing the holds."

Kara Seymour, Program Assistant NJ Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618


(f) 609.656.7618


Received on 2009-03-05 10:50:02

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

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