Make Some Noise New Jersey – RGGI, The Environment & Getting Political

What’s a Climate Mama to do when the Governor of her state tries to “unilaterally” take New Jersey out of the one operating program in the country set up to fight climate change by reducing power plant carbon emissions? MAKE SOME NOISE!!!! Read our letter to the Governor, send us your questions and comments, and if you like what we have to say, please feel free to use our comments, and send along with yours to the Governor too! Add your comments to the RGGI Petition at You can also call the Governor’s office at
609 292 6000, and tell him you aren’t happy with his environmental decisions!!!

Dear Gov. Christie,

Should I be relieved, that in contrast to your doubts last year about the science behind global warming, that you now recognize: “…after just a few months of study…. that it is time to defer to the experts…that humans play a contributing role [in climate change] and that we know enough to know that we are at least part of the problem.” Or should I continue to be alarmed that, by your own words, as Governor, as a lawyer and as a father, that prior to a few months ago, you hadn’t bothered to read about, research or take the time to be briefed on an important global issue like climate change; an issue that has real impacts and ramifications for your state, your country, your children and our world. I will continue to ponder this thought.

In the immediate, I will then assume you have been briefed on a report, America’s Climate Choices, released in mid-May by our National Academies of Science, an independent body of our nation’s most eminent scientists, chartered by Congress to advice our countries law makers (you?) on advancing the US response to climate change. The report states unequivocally that: “Climate change is occurring and the environmental, economic, and humanitarian risks posed by climate change indicate a pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare for adapting to its impacts.” Maybe you didn’t get to the conclusions, where the report’s states that: “the most sensible and urgently needed action is to “put a rising price on carbon emissions, by means of a tax or cap and trade system.”

My question to you, as one parent to another, is what you are telling your children and what you will tell your future grandchildren, when they ask what you did to try to help New Jersey and our country adapt to and mitigate the causes of climate change, when you had the chance. I wonder how you will frame it, for your future grandchildren, when you explain how you “deferred to the experts” on climate change? Will you tell them that one of your first acts on environmental issues as Governor, was to take away $65 million from a brand new innovative program that was set up between 10 north east states to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from power plants?An idea suggested by the “experts” on climate change?

The program, known as The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative” (RGGI), requires power plants to purchase “pollution allowances” that generates real funds for each of the 10 participating states, which they in turn agree to use to improve energy efficiency and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technology. Instead of using the money as it was intended – as a catalyst and seed to spur new business development to help NJ attract and create jobs for the 21st century in new, clean energy areas – you deployed it to a “needier cause, a $65 million drop in the proverbial bucket, which is and remains NJ’s more than $10 billion budget deficit.”

The story continues in 2011 when, instead of “getting back to RGGI in 2011” as you said you would do when you appropriated these in funds in 2010 you have chosen to – unilaterally, without giving time for public comment, independent scientific, environmental, or legislative review – pull my state out of RGGI.

Did you consider asking me, or the voters of New Jersey, 74% of whom, in a recent National Resources Defense Council poll, stated that they wanted to: “keep New Jersey energy dollars in state rather than send them out of state or out of the country to bring in fossil fuels – ie. renewables, given the absence of fossil fuel finds in our state. Or what about the 60% of NJ voters who said: “they would be willing to pay an additional $.75 on their monthly energy bills, a number that is high by most estimated costs, and which has actual gone down because of RGGI, to curb power plant pollution and to invest in cleaner, local energy sources like wind and solar.” You haven’t backed up your claim or shown me any studies that show that RGGI has caused higher taxes for me, the consumer, or higher taxes to businesses in the state.

Instead of using the RGGI funds as they were intended, as a catalyst and seed to spur new business development, and help NJ attract and create jobs for the 21st century in new, clean energy areas, you first gutted the program, and then tried to “close it down” because it was ineffective? You could have gotten much more sustained, national attention, if you had chosen to try to fix what you think is broken, bridging all sides in the energy and pollution discussion. Instead you seem to have chosen to walk away from the one viable, innovative up and running option without presenting a plan or idea to take it’s place. Actions speak louder than words, all I am hearing from you are words, and your actions don’t match them. Look again, and reconsider your actions.

My children know I am trying to do something to make their future more secure. Can you look your children in the eye with a clear consciousness and tell them you are trying to do the same thing? I wonder.

Climate Mama

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