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Governor Ignores Climate Change in Sandy Rebuilding

Date : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 17:08:36 -0500

For Immediate Release
February 5, 2013 Contact:Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Governor Ignores Climate Change in Sandy Rebuilding Today in Union Beach Governor Christie was asked about addressing climate change following Hurricane Sandy and this was his response:

/"I have no idea. I'm not a climatologist and in the last hundred days I have to tell you the truth, I've been focused on a lot of things, the cause of this is not one of them that I've focused on. Now maybe in the subsequent months and years, after I get done with trying to rebuild the state and put people back in their homes I will have the opportunity to ponder the esoteric question of the cause of this storm. Right now, I'm dealing with people who are out of their homes, out of their businesses because of the storm and, candidly, I don't have time to deal with it." /

/"I haven't thought about it, and you know what? I try not to give answers that I haven't thought about yet. I haven't thought about it. It's not a main concern for me. My main concern is getting the job done that the people elected me to do. You know what? If you asked of these people in Union Beach I don't think they give a damn." / Hurricane Sandy was the ninth such devastating storm to hit the Garden State in the last three years and the impacts of climate change will only make such storms worse.Sandy was the fourth 100-year storm to hit the Jersey Shore in the past two decades. Climate disruption will cause severe weather, making storms and other extreme weather events worse. We need to protect our families here in New Jersey from the impacts of climate disruption and sea level rise.In New Jersey we deserve strong action by our leaders to help reduce the likelihood and severity of future disasters.

"With all the people of New Jersey that have been devastated by the recent storms, for the Governor to try to ignore climate change is outrageous, dangerous, and puts people at risk.If we do not deal with climate change as we rebuild we will be wasting millions of dollars and putting people in harm's waysaid Jeff Tittel, Director NJ Sierra Club.

Jeff continued, "After what has happened in New Jersey with catastrophic storms his statement shows he cares more about his national political profile and pleasing the Koch brothers than the people of New Jersey and protecting our coast from climate change.If we do not care about climate change when we rebuild we not only jeopardize future federal funding but will continue to put people in harm's way." Instead the Governor is rolling back policies that reduce climate change pollution and promote clean energy alternatives.Governor Christie is moving New Jersey in the wrong direction when it comes to climate change by pulling us out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and cutting clean energy funding.The Governor cut the DEP Office of Climate Change and has stopped progress under previous administrations to implement hazard planning to address sea level rise. The Governor says he is too busy to think about climate change while making appearances on the Late Show and Morning Joe and doing reelection campaign fundraisers.

"We see now why the Governor has done all of these things: he is siding with the Koch Brothers over the best interests of the people of New Jersey. He is trying to bury his head in the sand, but the storm surge just wiped away that sand," said Jeff Tittel."There have been 9 major storms since Christie has been Governor.We have had hurricanes, tornadoes, and Halloween snow storms.There have been too many coincidences.You cannot deny that climate disruption is a factor and it is impacting New Jersey." The areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy are the areas we have said for a long time are most vulnerable for flooding and storm surges and they have done nothing to increase protections in those areas and are making it worse.A study by Rutgers University four years ago found that 9% of New Jersey's land area could be under water as a result of climate change. Climate disruption worsens extreme weather, threatening our families and communities.Scientists agree that climate change can cause rain and snowstorms, drought periods, and wildfires to become more severe.Governor Christie has eliminated the Office of Climate Change in DEP to study these impacts and help develop plans to combat the impacts.

"New Jersey is a coastal state and sees the most severe impacts of these storms.Instead of reducing greenhouse gases and pollution and protecting low lying areas from flooding we are doing the opposite and weakening the protections we currently have in place," said Jeff Tittel.

-- 
Kate Millsaps
Conservation Program Coordinator
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
609-656-7612
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Received on 2013-02-05 14:08:36

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
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