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Sierra Club Responds to Guadagno’s Spin on Business Rankings

Date : Fri, 20 Jul 2012 11:38:21 -0400


For Immediate Release
July 12, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Sierra Club Responds to Administration’s Spin on Business Rankings The administration is in full damage control mode because not only have their policies not worked but outside business groups see New Jersey moving in the wrong direction.When you do not invest in infrastructure, roll back environmental protections, cut transit services, and fail to invest in emerging innovative green industries, it hurts the state’s business climate.The CNBC "America’s Top States For Business in 2012" survey ranked New Jersey 41^st , 11 slots below last year’s ranking, number 30.Jeff Tittel, Director of the NJ Sierra Club full statement follow:

"The Governor’s attacks and rollbacks on environmental protections have not made New Jersey more business friendly.His policies have done just the opposite.In the last year New Jersey dropped from 30th to 41^st in the best states for businesses.His Red Tape Review and other attacks on the environment were not about streamlining permits and did not help improve the business climate in New Jersey, but were about weakening environmental protections.These weakenings will mean more pollution, traffic, and flooding which hurts business.This was about his national political agenda and taking care of special interests."

"One of the areas where New Jersey ranked low was infrastructure.Instead of stealing money from the ARC tunnel project to fill potholes, the Governor should have been investing in commuter rail and improving our transportation network to help attract businesses to New Jersey.When you cut transit services and raise fares you hurt businesses and the people that work for them.When you raise tolls and borrow to pay for transportation maintenance businesses know your transportation plan is not sustainable.They know you are not putting in the infrastructure to help them grow. New Jersey ranked 41^st in the category of ‘infrastructure and transportation’ dropping from 30^th last year."

"The Governor stole money $279 million from the Clean Energy Fund that could have been invested in green jobs or given as loans to small business to help them reduce energy costs through renewable energy.Pulling out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) sent message to green businesses not to come to New Jersey.When you rollback the goals of your Energy Master Plan it means you are not going to be innovative and high tech companies will not locate in a state that is moving backwards instead of forward."

"The Governor is attacking protections for the Highlands region which provides clean water for little cost to the state’s three largest industries, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and tourism.Products from M&Ms to Goya beans to Budweiser beer all contain Highlands water and the Governor is trying to open the region up to more sprawl and development which would degrade this water supply."

"Roche is leaving Nutley for places that have stricter environmental laws and regulations than New Jersey.In fact California, Switzerland, and Germany have some of the strictest standards in the world. These places participate in cap and trade programs for greenhouse gases and have high targets for renewable energy production.All of these places have much stricter air and water pollution, stormwater, and recycling standards."

"The Governor with his attacks on the environment may not realize quality of life, including air and water quality, are part of the rankings and New Jersey does not rank well. Investing in infrastructure and improving the environment attract businesses, not rollbacks.Companies are looking for good quality of life for their executives and employees.When you roll back environmental protections you actually undermine the state’s ability to attract new businesses.In quality of life New Jersey dropped from 16^th last year to 20^th ."

"When the only big achievement you tout is a $650 million public subsidy for an ugly mall that still has not been built it does not send a good message to biotech companies that this is a good place to grow.Instead of investing in new industries we are investing in failed malls."

"Green equals green.Companies want to invest in places where the environment is protected because it not only helps to protect their investment but it means these areas are developing new innovative technologies that will help grow their bottom line."

Kate Millsaps
Program Assistant
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
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