A Clear Choice on the Environment: Environment New Jersey Endorses Sen. Buono & Legislative Champs
Environment New Jersey
Trenton– With the gubernatorial candidates engaged in the last push of campaigning, Environment New Jersey highlighted the deep chasm between the gubernatorial candidates on the environment by detailing Gov. Chris Christie’s environmental rollbacks over the last four years compared to Sen. Barbara Buono’s pro-environment legislative record. The endorsed candidacy of Sen. Buono represents a clear choice on the environment for voters.
“The environment has taken a beating under Gov. Christie,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “He has been the most anti-environmental governor in our history. Sen. Buono’s record on the environment stands as his polar opposite.”
Sen. Buono has a long and established environmental record during her time in the Legislature. She was the lead cosponsor of the 2007 Global Warming Response Act, a cosponsor of Clean Cars and more recently led the charge in the state Senate to oppose the governor’s waiver rule rollbacks. Sen Buono has also worked to protect the air our children breathe from major polluters by pushing to get New Jersey back into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). And she also cosponsored both the fracking waste ban bill and legislation to ban fracking.
Gov. Chris Christie’s record on the environment on the other hand has been a huge step back. To recap, Gov. Christie unilaterally took the state out of RGGI; raided more than $800 million of clean energy money during his 4-year term; vetoed both a ban of fracking and a ban on fracking waste; worked to exempt environmental protections; killed the ARC train tunnel to New York City; put the Global Warming Response Act into a deep freeze; failed to engage on open space funding; signed legislation to rollback water quality protections, worked to weaken the landmark Highlands Act, which protects the drinking water of over 4.5 million New Jersey residents; promoted offshore wind but let the program wither on the vine for the last three years; and refused to talk about climate change in relation to Superstorm Sandy, or have the state acknowledge the impacts of sea level rise.
“From climate change to environmental protections, the record couldn’t be clearer that Gov. Christie has taken us backward on the environment, and that Sen. Buono has fought these rollbacks every step of the way. She clearly is the better choice,” said O’Malley.
Environment New Jersey also recognized a set of environmental leaders in the Legislature with endorsements: Sen. Bob Gordon (D-38), Asm. Tim Eustace (D-38), Asm. Peter Barnes (D-18) running for Senate, Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16), Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14), Asm. Dan Benson (D-14) & Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2).
“These leaders are environmental champions in the Legislature,” said O’Malley. “They have fought for the environment, and haven’t been afraid to stand up to Gov. Christie and their own party leaders. Although they face spirited challenges, they have not shied away from standing up for clean air and water, open spaces and clean energy. We need their continued leadership more than ever because we need legislators who will side with the people over the polluters.”
In the last two year, these leaders have advanced environmental protections and fought a number of rollbacks to pollution-busting programs, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and worked to ban fracking waste.
“We urge voters who care about the environment not to sit this election out,” said O’Malley. “Environmentally-minded voters in these key districts should know how critical their vote is this year, and why these legislators should be re-elected to stand up for our air and water.”
Environment New Jersey Inc., a state-wide environmental advocacy group based in Trenton, represents over 20,000 dues-paying citizen members across New Jersey.
Senator Bob Gordon (D-38) is the prime sponsor of the fracking waste ban bill that passed the Legislature in June 2012 and was vetoed by the governor, and has been pushing for an override of the governor’s veto. He was a cosponsor of a bill to set strict pollution limits for Barnegat Bay and has advocated for New Jersey to re-enter the regional anti-pollution pact known as RGGI.
Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-38), a freshman legislator, has championed electric car infrastructure (as well as being a Nissan Leaf driver), has opposed giveaways to developers, and advocated for clean energy programs. He also has strongly supported efforts to ban fracking waste from being dumped in New Jersey’s waterways.
Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-18), running for the state Senate, was a prime sponsor of the bill to save RGGI, which the Legislature passed and then was vetoed by the governor. He consistently cosponsors and supports key environmental legislation, including the efforts to overturn the governor’s waiver rule, the fracking waste ban bill, and legislation to set strict pollution limits for Barnegat Bay. The Assemblyman also championed legislation to create a Coastal Commission to ensure that regional planning was part of our response to Sandy, a recommendation that the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force endorsed. He serves on the Assembly Environment Committee.
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) is an environmentally-conscious legislator who has proven himself willing to represent his Central Jersey district’s support of the environment. As a long-time member of the Senate Environment Committee, he has supported legislation to protect open space, Barnegat Bay, and water quality. He was the prime cosponsor of the legislation to ban fracking. Most notably, he has been willing to buck his party and the governor, from rollbacks of water quality standards to the long fight to put New Jersey back into the RGGI program.
Senator Linda Greenstein (D-14) was a cosponsor of the fracking waste ban bill that passed last June and was vetoed by the governor and she has also supported legislation to expand the state’s renewable energy standard to 30 percent and set a mandatory statewide policy to cut energy demand by 20 percent. Sen. Greenstein has consistently opposed bills that would weaken environmental standards and has one of the best environmental voting records in the Legislature. She is the vice-chair of the Senate Environment Committee.
Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-14) supported the fracking waste ban bill that passed last June and was vetoed by the governor, and he was a cosponsor of the bill to save the RGGI program that the Legislature passed before being vetoed by the governor. Asm. Benson has a strong environmental record, especially on clean energy because of his background on energy efficiency, and has opposed attempts to weaken environmental rules to help developers.
Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) continues to be a leading voice of opposition against the governor’s plan to leave the RGGI program, and the need to tackle climate change, especially post-Sandy. He has been a long-time supporter of offshore wind off Atlantic County, and he supported the efforts to ban fracking waste from being dumped in New Jersey waterways. He serves on the Senate Environment Committee.
Paid for by Environment New Jersey, 143 East State Street, Suite 7, Trenton, New Jersey 08608. This expenditure was not made with the cooperation or prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate, or person or committee acting on behalf of the candidate.