A commitment to PR over policy
Corzine joins New York press conference after bad news in NJ
[Update: 11/23/08: On November 17, 2008, DEP adopted final rules to implement the RGGI program, enabling them to particiapte in the December auction. See:
This kind of stuff makes it virtually impossible to hold politicians accountable.
Yesterday, Governor Corzine avoided facing in state critics and a knowledgeable NJ media, by joining NY Governor Paterson at a NY City Press conference. I guess Corzine saw no irony in holding the event at the Mercantile Exchange, Wall Street not being a place that inspires confidence or public support right now.
The NY & NJ Governors touted the historic first auction of global warming pollutants. The Associated Press - apparently unaware of NJ's auction program - gave both Corzine and the program favorable coverage.
The problem is, NJ was not allowed to participate in the auction because it failed to meet deadlines to adopt rules for the program. Guess that AP reporter didn't do his homework. Follow the story below.
On Wednesday, the Star Ledger reported that New Jersey would miss the historic first auction of green house pollution allowances in the 10 northeastern states. The highly touted and closely watched regional plan had been in the works for more than 5 years. Corzine signed implementing legislation last January, after his deeply flawed bill was quickly rammed through the lame duck session of the Legislature.
State sitting out first emission-credit auction
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
BY TOM JOHNSON
A regional program designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions gets under way tomorrow with New Jersey, one of the prime advocates of the plan, sitting on the sideline.
But New Jersey and three other Northeast states will not participate in the first auction because they have failed to adopt the necessary regulations allowing them to do so, a lapse environmentalists say sends the wrong signal about their commitment to reduce global warming."
One would think that the Governor and the DEP Commisisoner would be at the least humble, or even embarrassed by this failure by DEP to adopt regulations on time.
This is especially the case, given that just last week, a private sector Task Force issued a Report that criticized, among other things, delays in DEP rule-making and lack of trained scientists. http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=1101
One would be wrong.
DEP Commissioner Jackson downplayed the significance of missing the first auction by telling NJN TV news this Sarah Palin caliber excuse (her remarks were made from an Atlantic City conference - sponsored by PSEG - with builders and developers. Again, no sense of irony):
"It's not a sign of our commitment... Our ... rule making just hasn't caught up to our commitment yet."
view NJN News video - segment runs from time 9:56 - 12:06 -
Read in the below AP story how Governor Corzine was given a pass by the AP reporter, who apparently was unaware that Cozine was touting a regional auction program that his own state could not participate in due to executive branch delays. The reporter did seem to understand the criticism that the RGGI program will not reduce but actually will allow an increase in pollution emissions. Although 6 of 10 states participated in the first auction, less than 10% of the 188 million tons of pollution allowances were actually auctioned. Neither inspires confidence in the performance of the program in terms meeting global warming emission reduction goals (especially NJ's).
Carbon goes on the auction block in Northeast
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who joined [NY Gov.] Paterson at a news conference at the Mercantile Exchange, noted that both John McCain and Barack Obama support cap-and-trade programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Corzine said “there is building momentum” to enact federal legislation.
In response to critics who have argued that the limit is too high, Corzine said, “I think we need to make sure that the mechanics of the auction process and the system work.” He said the limit could be lowered at subsequent auctions if the initiative’s member states determine it’s too high to have the intended effect.”
For more information on RGGI and NJ global warming programs, see:
NEW JERSEY WILL MISS FIRST GREENHOUSE GAS ALLOWANCES AUCTION — Corzine Global Warming Program behind Schedule, Blowing Second Major Deadline