Archive for March, 2013

Delaware Bayshore

March 31st, 2013 No comments

NJ’s Most Ecologically Rich and Threatened Region At Risk

hawks soar

“A national spotlight is shining on the need to protect our coastal and bay ecosystems,” said Bill Wolfe, Director NJ PEER “We owe it to the Delaware Bayshore communities to practice regional ecosystem based planning and strict regulation” ~~~ New Report on Protecting Delaware Bay Ecosystem (Going Green on Delmarva, June 22, 2010)

[Update #2 4/28/13 – Sandy Bauers of the Philly Inquirer gets in and writes a must read story:  Along N.J. bay, rising sea draws ever closer]

Update #1: 4/1/13 – Gee, what an amazing coincidence!: Five months of silence, and today we get a DEP press release:

 – end update]

Anyone interested can read the full Report – “Protecting the Delaware Bay Environment” –

I’m too lazy to write at the moment, so just look at pictures of an ecologically rich working landscape that will only get more beautiful as spring emerges.


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Obama’s Energy Secretary Pick Has Some Problems

March 30th, 2013 No comments

Professor Moniz and MIT Report The Latest Example of “Frackademia”

Corporate capture of government and the destruction of academic and scientific integrity

Perhaps the most under-reported story flying recently under the media radar involves President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Energy,  MIT professor Ernest J. Moniz.

Obama made the announcement back on March 4, and Moniz received favorable media coverage.

Typical is this sketch from the NY Times:

In choosing Dr. Moniz, Mr. Obama has once again selected a nuclear physicist, although one with more political experience; Dr. Moniz was the under secretary of energy in President Bill Clinton’s second term.

Dr. Moniz, like his predecessor, Dr. Chu, is highly focused on how to meet a skyrocketing global demand for energy while mitigating adverse effects on the environment, and like Dr. Chu, he has focused on the need for technology innovation.

He also shares with Dr. Chu a scientist’s view of politics. In a memo posted on his program’s Web site in November 2012, he said that the M.I.T. Energy Initiative was continuing to supply technical research “in the interest of providing some degree of rationality in the ongoing political discussion.”

How’s that? Just what is “a scientist’s view of politics“? (presumably, the NY Times refers to the old discredited caricature – the dichotomy of pristine objective fact based neutral science, versus subjective and value based politics).

On the one hand, Moniz is praised by media as having “more political experience”, but on the other hand, he himself touts his ability to provide “some degree of rationality in the ongoing political discussion.”

Does the media not see some tension, if not a glaring contradiction there?

In a sort of pre-emptive way, right out of the gate, NY Times climate blogger Andrew Revkin engaged and dismissed this issue superficially.

[Could that be because Revkin himself is biased and was caught up in the “Frackademia” PR game ? see this and read on: An M.I.T. Plan for Natural Gas with Planet in Mind (Andy Revkin, New York Times “Dot Earth” blog, June 9, 2011)]

Revkin is a well informed peddler of conventional wisdom.  At the outset, based only on a press release,  he attempted to downplay that tension and dismiss environmental critics (who are disdainfully dismissed in one word as “campaigners”, i.e. unlike the savvy and rigorously scientific Revkin, these “campaigners” are scientifically illiterate political advocates).

Revkin wrote: (curiously, without mentioning or linking to his prior June 9, 2011 story on the MIT fracking Report)

Moniz is already taking heat from some environmental campaigners for his work directing the M.I.T. Energy Initiative, which — like many university energy and climate research hubs — receives ample funding from industries selling or dependent on fossil fuels. Among other things, he is a proponent of gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. I’ve come to know Moniz over years of contact as a reliable, transparent and data-driven researcher and think he’ll do well in this position. (I still think Shirley Ann Jackson, the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, would have done well, too.)

But perhaps two recent in depth investigative reports can overcome Revkin’s early casual dismissal and shed some light on Moniz’s “view of politics” and science, as he practices them up at MIT.

I suspect that this investigative work will play a role in Moniz’s Senate confirmation hearing on April 9 –

If we had a functioning democracy, it most certainly would.

One indication of that this might play a role is that the Obama message people are already working the beltway media to marginalize critics and create an air of inevitability.

The best example of that beltway cynicism and spin is Politico’s set up promotional piece:  Ernest Moniz should have an easy time before Senate. This quote says it all – ultimate beltway insider Dan Weiss is backing Obama and doesn’t want to waste any bullets criticizing Obama’s pro-energy industry pick:

Daniel Weiss, director of climate strategy with the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund, said the flurry of attention “is basically background noise.”

If the Obama people are trotting out their loyal “environmental” backers to deflect criticism as “background noise”, that means they’re scared.

So lets take a quick look at what Mr. Weiss dismissed as “background noise”.

First, we consider ProPublica’s work: Drilling Deeper: The Wealth of Business Connections for Obama’s Energy Pick:

Here’s what we know about Moniz’s recent involvement with the energy industry:

  • He was on BP’s Technology Advisory Council between 2005 and 2011, a position for which he received a stipend, according to BP. Spokesman Matt Hartwig said the company does not disclose details of such payments. (A 2012 BP financial report disclosed that one council member received about $6,200.) The council “provides feedback and advice to BP’s executive management as to the company’s approach to research and technology,” according to the company. BP has also provided $50 million in funding to Moniz’s MIT Energy Initiative. Moniz talked about that relationship while delivering a warm introduction before a 2009 speech at MIT by BP’s then-CEO Tony Hayward.
  • From 2002 to 2004, Moniz sat on the strategic advisory council of USEC, a public company that provides enriched uranium to nuclear power plants. A company spokesman said Moniz was paid for his role on the nine-member council, but declined to say how much. USEC, which has been seeking a $2 billion loan guarantee from the Energy Department for a centrifuge plant in Ohio, has applauded Moniz’s nomination.
  • He’s on the board of ICF International, a Fairfax, Virginia-based company which does energy and environmental consulting. It has received Energy Department contracts as part of what one executive called a “longstanding relationship with the Department of Energy.” As a board member, Moniz got $158,000 in cash and stock in 2011, according to the company’s most recent annual report.
  • He is on the strategic advisory council of NGP Energy Technology Partners, a private equity firm that invests in both alternative energy and fossil fuel companies. The Washington, D.C.-based firm declined to comment.
  • He is on the board of advisers of another private equity firm, the Angeleno Group,which says it provides “growth capital for next generation clean energy and natural resources companies.” The Los Angeles-based firm didn’t respond to requests for comment.
  • He is a trustee of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), a Saudi Aramco-backed nonprofit organization. The organization did not respond to requests for comment.
  • He was on the board of directors of the Electric Power Research Institute from 2007 to 2011, following a stint on the group’s advisory council that began in 2002. A nonprofit utility consortium, the organization does research for the industry with an annual budget of over $300 million. The group paid Moniz $8,000 between 2009 and 2011, according to its most recent tax returns
  • Since 2006, Moniz has been on the board of General Electric’s “ecomagination” advisory board which advises the company on “critical environmental and business issues.” The company did not respond to inquiries about compensation.

But even more significant than all those financial ties and conflicts of interest, a second Report shed light on how Moniz views scientific integrity, academic science, and politics –  and the picture it paints sure ain’t pretty. Frankly, the findings are alarming and damning.

The Public Accountability Initiative published a disturbing Report: Industry Partner or Industry Puppet?  How MIT’s influential report on fracking was authored, funded, and released by oil and gas industry insiders

Several universities have released high-profile studies on the subject of fracking that dismissed environmental concerns, but were later found to be tainted by poor scholarship, pro-industry bias, and significant conflicts of interest stemming from ties to industry. Rather than inform the public, the reports appear to have been designed to manipulate public opinion about fracking. The fallout has been significant, prompting resignations and retractions at the University of Texas, the University at Buffalo, and Penn State.1 The Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) has been at the forefront of efforts to expose this trend, which has come to be known as “frackademia.”2

This PAI report examines yet another high profile study of fracking: MIT’s “The Future of Natural Gas” report, released in June 2011. The nomination of MIT professor Ernest J. Moniz as the next energy secretary has put a new spotlight on the report, which endorsed “natural gas as a bridge to a low-carbon future.”3 Moniz served as chair of the study group that authored the report and directs the MIT Energy Initiative, which released the report.

The MIT report is marred by undisclosed conflicts of interest, pro-industry advocacy, and poor scholarship similar to that which resulted in retractions and resignations at other universities, yet it has not received the same level of critical attention.4

Authored by industry. Key authors of the study, including Moniz himself, failed to disclose personal financial conflicts of interest in report materials or at events where the report was presented:

• Study chair Ernest Moniz took a lucrative position on the board of ICF International, a consulting firm with significant oil and gas ties, just prior to the release of the report. ICF cited shale gas analysis as a key profit driver for its energy business weeks before Moniz joined its board; it sells a proprietary gas market analysis tool and works for oil and gas clients such as America’s Natural Gas Alliance. Moniz’s ICF compensation since 2011 is valued at $305,648.5 He has also served on the advisory board of NGP Energy Technology Partners, which invests in oil and gas companies, since 2006, but it is  unclear if he receives compensation in this position.

  1. Funded and advised by industry. The MIT study was also funded by oil and gas industry sources and advised by a committee dominated by industry representatives.
  • Report funding. The report was funded by oil and gas industry sources, including the American Clean Skies Foundation, which is closely linked to Chesapeake Energy. These funders were acknowledged in the report.
  • Report advisory committee. Though the study’s advisory committee was billed as a group of “leaders from industry, government and environmental groups,” it was dominated by individuals with strong oil and gas industry ties.
  • MIT Energy Initiative funding. The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), directed by Moniz, receives extraordinary amounts of funding – over $145 million over its seven-year history – from oil and gas giants like BP and Chevron.

Though the MIT report named its funders, its failure to disclose its authors’ industry ties suggests that MIT did not have proper systems in place for disclosing and managing conflicts of interest. 7 The MIT Energy Initiative’s response to PAI’s findings is telling in this regard. The response, which is included in the appendix, begins: “The notion that these findings are developed based on anything other than the unbiased research of MIT researchers is false.” The response notes that authors filed disclosure forms with the university, but does not address PAI’s queries about whether MIT and the Energy Initiative viewed the study authors’ industry ties as conflicts of interest and managed them as such. The response raises red flags about how the Energy Initiative understands and handles conflicts of interest. 8

On the question of bias, there are signs that the study authors were not relying on sound research in authoring a study that was so bullish on the future of natural gas. Though a full review of the study is outside the scope of this report, the third section takes a closer look at the thin evidence underlying two of the MIT study’s most significant and widely amplified pro-industry claims:

  • Environmental impacts. There is no substantive research backing the study’s claim that fracking-related environmental risks are “challenging but manageable.”
  • Gas exports. The report offers little evidence backing its argument for the development of a global gas market complete with LNG exports. For instance, it cites the economic benefits associated with a global gas market without including any discussion of price impacts.University-industry partnerships support a great deal of academic research in the United States, but it is important to safeguard this research against improper industry influence. The significant conflicts of interest, gas industry advocacy, and poor scholarship in the MIT study suggest that the university did nothing to ensure that it was not acting as an industry mouthpiece in endorsing natural gas.

I urge you to read the entire Report.

This really is part of a much larger debate about the wholesale corporate capture and control of government and the prostitution and absolute destruction of academic and scientific integrity.

Never mind the energy policies they reflect, if these tactics go unchallenged, we surely are doomed.

I hope someone stands up for those institutions and ideas.

[ps – and what the hell is the former head of the CIA doing at MIT on energy?

John Deutch, an MIT professor and the former director of the CIA, served as one of the members of the “Future of Natural Gas” study group. Deutch chaired the hydraulic fracturing advisory subcommittee convened by Energy Secretary Steven Chu in May 2011. Deutch had significant personal ties to the oil and gas industry that were not disclosed in the MIT report. 

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New Paradigm: Overburdened Bullshit

March 28th, 2013 No comments

Christie DEP Stands Environmental Justice Policy on Its Head

Christie Policy and Performance Demand Legislative Oversight

Great Depression - could be Shiloh, NJ today (see below)

We recently wrote about one of NJ’s “sacrifice zones”, Paulsboro NJ, a community in the belly of the toxic spewing petro-chemical beast.

But, as we noted, Paulsboro is NOT alone – there are scores of “sacrifice zones” all across NJ, and they are expanding.

Gov. Christie Whitman - a big smile on her face - frisks black man in Camden, NJ

They are expanding as disasters like Superstorm Sandy, lack of investment, home foreclosures, abandonment, austerity social safety net policies, crumbling infrastructure, decrepit and segregated schools, and unemployment devastate low income communities.

The DEP – historically – at least recognized their responsibility for addressing the environmental and public health aspects of these problems and struggled to provide relief. Those efforts fell far short and were often more PR spin than substantive reform, but, at least the problems were openly acknowledged and discussed, leadership cared, and DEP resources were committed.

In December 2009, it seemed that DEP had finally turned the corner and could no longer deny the magnitude of the cumulative impact, disproportionate burden, public health, and environmental justice problems. DEP researchers released a report that documented the problem – see: DEP Discovers Discrimination – Dumps Environmental Justice Issue in Christie’s Lap.

So, what did the Christie DEP do with that challenge the Corzine DEP belatedly dumped in their lap?

They ran for the hills and spun a lot of bullshit –like this

The Next Generation of Environmental Management
“Working with Communities to Address their Greatest Environmental Concerns” 

  1. Goal 3 – Restoration and Enhanced Protection in Environmentally Overburdened Communities
  • Develop a new paradigm for the protection of communities overburdened by environmental stresses through a multimedia approach focusing on human health and the environmental impacts; ensure that we work in concert to address issues related to air, water, preservation, acquisition, and affordable access to parks.
  • Continued development and utilization of the Cumulative Impact Method.
  • Ensure cross program coordination to achieve the greatest net-environmental gain or the least possible negative effect impacting the public’s quality of life.
  • Expand the number of DEP staff dedicated to working in and with communities to ensure a thorough understanding of issues and potential solutions.

Paulsboro, and Pompton Lakes, and Camden, and Passaic City, and Garfield and Kearny and Trenton and Gloucester City and Salem and Carney’s Point and Neptune and Clifton and West Orange and  Linden, and Paterson, and Carteret and Middlesex and Elizabeth and Newark  and Doremus Ave. – the list goes on – they all make a mockery of DEP’s “overburdened” community rhetoric (see DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice).

The people of Paulsboro are literally a laboratory for an “over-burdened community” and a case study in what is known as “cumulative impacts”.

But DEP has virtually abandoned the science and the development of regulatory standards to address cumulative impacts and cumulative risks – they default to US EPA. The DEP’s website cites EPA studies that are more than 10 years old!

Towards Cumulative Risk Assessment

EPA Cumulative Assessment Information
This website offers presentations made during the EPA “Mid-Atlantic Cumulative Risk Workshop” held on May 28-29, 2003. The workshop’s theme was “How Can Cumulative Risk Assessment be Used to Achieve Environmental Justice?” Attendees included Public Health Experts, Scientists, Environmental Justice Advocates, and Government Officials. Discussion focused on: defining cumulative Risk and the intersections between cumulative risk and public health.

Risk World
A listing of databases regarding risk assessment, analysis, and management

A List of Risk Assessment Values References (Scorecard)

As we’ve written, DEP Commissioner Martin has established a de facto moratorium on development of new regulatory standards.

DEP science has been outsourced, suppressed, ignored, spun, or defunded.

Let’s hope that these issues get some legislative oversight in DEP’s upcoming budget hearing before the Senate on April 15.

down and out in Shiloh, NJ (3/23/13)


Shiloh, NJ (3/23/13) This Property Is Condemned, but where is Natalie Wood?

Delaware Bayshore, Cumberland County, NJ (3/23/13)

Bivalve, NJ (3/23/13)

great Depression - I couldn't find anyone on porches in Shiloh or Cumberland County


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DEP Dodges Role of Climate Change In Sandy and Sea Level Rise

March 27th, 2013 No comments

DEP Bows To Gov.’s Political Views 

DEP Fails to State the Science on Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Flood Maps

homes at Cape May Point - The end of the line - no where to run, no where to hide, from sea level rise and climate change

Yesterday, DEP adopted the FEMA Draft Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps (read the DEP press release and the DEP response to comment adoption document).

In doing so, as is legally required, DEP responded to all public comments on the rule proposal.

In an extraordinary and deeply troubling move, DEP failed to accurately state the well known and consensus scientific relationships betweeen climate change and sea level rise.

DEP scientists and engineers know that climate change is causing sea level rise. Recent maps on sea level rise were released by Rutgers University, further validating that consensus scientific view (see: Sea level map offers disturbing picture of Shore’s future) .

Yet the DEP experts were gagged from stating that scientific fact in a regulatory document (just as we warned, see):  

This is even more troubling because the issue was raised point blank in public comments (mine #51, #52), which obligated the DEP to respond accurately and comprehensively to that issue. DEP chose not to do so.

This further politicizes the issue and is evidence of direct Christie Gov. Office influence on DEP experts, who obviously blocked DEP experts from accurately responding –

Here is the public comment and the evasive DEP non-response.

51. COMMENT: Climate change is real. As the planet and the ocean warms, the ocean expands, glaciers and arctic ice melts. That increases the volume of the ocean and that results in sea level rise. It’s going to happen at a more accelerated rate in the future. We have to plan for that and we have to adapt to that. Climate change also causes more extreme weather events due to the warming of the ocean and warm moisture in the atmosphere. Testimony about Superstorm Sandy being a 500 or 700 year storm cannot be scientifically credible or statistically valid.

  1. COMMENT: In January of 2012, before Superstorm Sandy hit, FEMA adopted a climate change adaptation policy that explicitly called for future risk to be incorporated in the FEMA programs, including projected conditions. That represented a significant change in FEMA policy because FEMA had previously dealt with historical data and not projected conditions. However, FEMA’s ABFEs do not comply with FEMA’s own policy because they reflect historic conditions and do not project forward.

RESPONSE TO COMMENTS 47 THROUGH 53: The Department recognizes that the extent of flooding within the State can increase over time due to a variety of factors. In response to this, the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules were amended in 2007 to require that the lowest floor of buildings and the elevation of many roadways and parking areas be situated at least one foot above the flood hazard area design flood elevation. The Department also regulates a flood larger than the 100-year flood in fluvial areas to account for possible uture changes in flood elevations. This rulemaking incorporates additional amendments that ensure construction activities in New Jersey will utilize the most recent and accurate flood mapping available. The use of FEMA’s ABFEs and automatic incorporation of effective FEMA maps that depict the Department’s flood hazard area design flood elevation ensure that the State will not rely on outdated or inaccurate flood mapping. Furthermore, should FEMA incorporate additional risk factors into its depiction of the 100-year flood elevation on its Flood Insurance Rate Maps, these changes will be automatically incorporated into the Department’s delineations. As the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules are set to expire on November 7, 2014, the Department will again have an opportunity to review the best available data and risk indicators and determine if additional rule amendments are necessary.”

One of the “ variety of factors” DEP recognized is climate change and sea level rise.

My comment specifically noted defects in DEP’s rule specifically with respect to climate change.

DEP chose not to respond to the comment and that could only be because it would embarrass the Gov. and DEP’s failure to consider climate change in Sandy response.

[ps – note one coastal group (e.g. COA, ALS) or planning group (NJF) submitted comments on the DEP rule. Delaware Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, and PEER were the only environmental groups to participate.]

piles of sand are not dunes and provide no defense

jetties are jive

piles of sand - a pile of crap

this is what erosion looks like - just a matter of time (Cape May Point, NJ)

Cape May Lighthouse, at sunset


Sunset Beach, Cape May NJ (3/23/13)

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Christie Has His Carbon and Eats It Too

March 27th, 2013 1 comment

Gov. Has No Plan For Climate Change, As He Dismantles Existing Efforts

Dismantling is Far Worse Than Denial

“I don’t believe in a carbon tax. …. I’m not going to put more regulations on corporations” Gov. Christie  ~~~  ****Star Ledger 3/26/13

Important Introductory remarks

**** Curiously, in a bit of Orwell’s classic 1984 “down the memory hole”, the Star Ledger story I excerpted the above quote from was edited and the Gov.’s controversial remarks on climate and Sandy have been whitewashed. The original story had an extended quote by the Gov. to the affect that had the Gov. implemented greenhouse gas controls prior to Sandy that they would not have had any effect on Sandy. This direct quote in the original Ledger story also included a statement that “I don’t believe in a carbon tax”. That is a direct quote and I tweeted it at  2:55 pm: (yes I know I left out the … before “I don’t” and after “carbon tax” to break up the full quote, but that’s because of Twitter character limit, a problem I was going to resolve in this post)

This is important because the original quote shows the Gov. arrogantly digging in with respect to previous criticism he took on failure to consider climate in his Sandy response.

Equally important, the Ledger deleted the Gov.’s quote opposing a carbon tax. That is a huge policy statement, given current proposals for a carbon tax to replace the cap and trade scheme that failed in Congress in Obama’s first term.

I had planned to criticize the Gov. by noting that if he opposed regulation and he opposed market based solutions, then there were very few policy tools left in the toolkit, aside from 1) tax breaks/incentives, 2) voluntary corporate efforts, and 3) public education and consumer choices, all of which are severely limited in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions or developing renewable power sources – and none of which the Gov. is actually funding and implementing. –

The deleted quotes demonstrate – in the Gov.’s own words – that he has no climate policy. end introductory remarks.

BREAKING!: The Star Ledger has confirmed that NJ Gov. Chris Christie is not a fellow Republican knuckle dragging climate change denier: (Ledger, edited version)

In 2011, Christie pulled New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative intended to control emissions, although he has said climate change is affecting the state and “human activity plays a role in these changes.”

Whoo-Hoo! Just what we called for!

So, let’s break that down.

Christie agrees that climate change is: 1)  real; 2) already happening; 3) negatively impacting New Jersey; and 4) “human activity plays a role”.

So, what does Gov. Christie propose to do about it?

Based on his own statements, as we’ve written  in detail, we know that climate change is not a priority to the Gov. and that he had no time to consider it prior to Sandy or during the Sandy recovery planning process.

Based on his record, as we’ve written in detail, we know he has done virtually nothing on climate change policy, other than systematically to dismantle and defund existing climate change and energy policies,  programs, and institutions.

But now that the Gov. has had time to reflect, just what is his climate change policy?

It took many years and the sustained activist efforts of tens of thousands of NJ residents, attending hundreds of meetings and protests, to forge NJ’s  fragile political consensus and policy framework on energy and environmental issues.

That consensus reflected a conscious choice to have public policy and sound planning drive  policy decisions, not short term economic considerations or powerful political special interests (or things like cost benefit analysis, cost tests, a veto by the Chamber of Commerce, or a narrowly focused rate counsel – all key features of the current Christie policy landscape).

Let me offer just one historical example of that:

In the mid 1980’s, the Legislature, Governor Tom Kean, and DEP were calling for garbage incinerators to be built in each of NJ’s 21 counties. At the same time, the Hazardous Waste Facilities Siting Commission was planning to develop hazardous waste incineration capacity in NJ.

Those incineration plans were met by huge public opposition. Thousands of angry people turned out at hundreds of meetings and protests. Over a 5-6 year period, environmentalists effectively organized this strong public opposition to  not only block those efforts, but, by 1990, to convince the Florio Administration to fundamentally reverse course.

Florio imposed a moratorium on garbage incineration, and instead adopted a policy of source reduction and maximum feasible recycling. Florio abandoned hazardous waste incineration and replaced that with toxics use reduction and pollution prevention as the preferred management options.And Florio began efforts to integrate energy and environmental policy by consolidating BPU energy programs in DEP, to form a new DEPE. [full disclosure: I was involved in all this at the time while working at DEP].

These were huge advances, they were enacted during a period of economic recession, they were made possible by grassroots activism prevailing over business interests, and they set the stage to play strong defense during the “Open for Business” Whitman administration.

All of this activist and policy work culminated in the 2007 passage of the Global Warming Response Act. As required by the Act, in 2009, DEP submitted a Report on how to implement the Act, with more than 20 recommendations to move forward.

So, the stage was set for NJ to be a national leader and make real progress in reducing GHG emissions and making the transition to renewable power.

Gov. Christie has unravelled that. It took decades to build.

And that unraveling of a political consensus and the dismantling of NJ’s robust policy framework are far worse than if the Gov. was a knuckle dragging denier.

Deniers can only block progress. Deniers can be worked around. Due to their extreme views, deniers marginalize and discredit themselves. Deniers really can do little harm.

But dismantlers like Gov. Christie are a disaster.

And the media lets Christie duck all that by appearing to be reasonable – i.e. he doesn’t deny climate change – all while they largely ignore his dismantling efforts.

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