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Christie Pulls Out of RGGI and Continues Attack on Climate Change and Environment

Date : Thu, 26 May 2011 13:32:42 -0400

  For Immediate Release
May 26, 2011 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Christie Pulls Out of RGGI and Continues Attack on Climate Change and Environment Statement by Jeff Tittel, Director of NJ Sierra Club

"Governor Christie has destroyed the first and most success greenhouse gas reduction program in the country. The Governor says the program is not effective but statistics show it is with New Jersey reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. Christie has done what the Maine and New Hampshire Governors have tried and failed to do, destroy the RGGI. The DEP is coming out with a report saying New Jersey is meeting and exceeding targets to reduce greenhouse gases- they are right and RGGI is one of the factors in that success:

* Due in part to RGGI's programs, global warming pollution is down 15%-30% since it was launched

* RGGI is directly responsible for creating or saving almost 18,000 jobs

* The economy in the region has grown by more than $2.3 billion because of RGGI

* Companies that receive RGGI funds have been able to make energy efficiency improvements or build on-site clean energy projects. These projects help companies save energy and money and also support local jobs, putting people to work retrofitting buildings or installing solar arrays and other projects

* The first 12 projects in New Jersey funded by RGGI proceeds helped New Jersey businesses generate over 167,000 megawatt hours of clean energy per year, equal to the amount of energy consumed by 19,600 households per year, and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 84,000 metric tons.

* RGGI has also helped lead to hundreds of clean energy businesses - both large and small - starting up, expanding or moving to New Jersey. These companies employ thousands of New Jerseyans in the growing clean energy market Pulling out of RGGI is an environmental disaster and the Governor is trying to hide behind no new coal plants while he dismantles clean energy programs and initiatives to fight climate change. Christie said he would try to reduce emissions from existing coal but did not commit to actual reductions. The Governor said he wants to fight coal in Pennsylvania that pollutes New Jersey but supports the construction of powerlines to bring that Pennsylvania coal-fired energy into New Jersey.

New Jersey would never be permitted to construct a new coal-fired power facility because we currently do not meet air quality standards under the Clean Air Act's National Ambient Air Quality Standards. There is only one proposed coal-fired power plant in New Jersey, the PurGen facility in Linden that proposes to capture and store carbon emissions underneath the sea bed 70 miles off the coast of Atlantic City. The PurGen project does not have the needed federal funding or federal regulations in place to make the project a reality.

Christie also announced he is abandoning the 30% renewable goal established in the Energy Master Plan. He will be reducing our clean energy goals to a 22% renewable energy standard.

Christie announced that he supports new nuclear facilities in the state, regardless of what happened in Japan. Christie is supporting dangerous power generation will weakening the state's renewable goals.

Christie is giving a tax cut to polluters while jeopardizing the health and environment of New Jersey. This is all about National politics, not the best interests of our economy, environment, or residents. The Governor is looking out for his political career and putting the people of New Jersey in harm's way."

Kate Millsaps, 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 2011-05-26 10:32:42

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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