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EPA Regional Administrator: Hudson Valley “Ahead of the Curve” on Climate Change

RA Enck Says there is “No Debate” on Climate Change, Except in Congress

Enck Needs to Visit NJ

Judith Enck, EPA Region II Regional Administrator shows fish consumption warning of PCB toxic contamination of fish in Bound Brook, NJ (12/10/09).

After US EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck’s first visit to NJ back in December 2009 (see: New Obama EPA Regional Administrator Plants the Flag in NJ), I had high hopes that her leadership would serve as a brake on then Gov. elect Chris Christie’s anticipated rollback efforts.

I was right about Christie’s rollbacks – but , for the most part, have been disappointed with Enck’s ability to pushback (although she has weighed in on critical debates behind the scenes, she has done little publicly or in a high profile way).

In the most recent example of what she could be doing in NJ, Enck again steered clear of Gov. Chris Christie’s NJ and appeared last week at a Marist College roundtable to discuss climate change with New York’s Hudson Valley leaders.

Maybe I missed the NJ roundtable?

The Hudson Valley is my home, so, of course I’m proud that leaders there are engaged and ready to take action (and that’s the Hudson River across the banner above!).

But I now live in NJ, and am disgusted that Gov. Chris Christie views climate change as an “esoteric” issue he has no time to consider, except for diverting almost $1 billion in clean energy funds, withdrawing from the northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to appease the Republican right wing base; and dismantling climate change emission reduction efforts under NJ’s  2007 Global Warming Response Act.

After the Marist College event, Enck did a radio interview – you can listen here.

Enck said two things of interest to New Jersey residents: first, she said that Hudson Valley leaders were “ahead of the curve on climate change” and that there was “no debate” on the reality of climate change “except in Congress”.

RA Enck needs to visit NJ to say those things to the NJ press corps and challenge Gov. Christie.

Unfortunately, despite one of the nation’s leading climate change laws – the Global Warming Response Act – NJ is no longer “ahead of the curve” and Gov. Christie’s failures have created a debate.

Enck’s NY visit and focus on climate change follows Obama Cabinet visits from HUD Secretary Donovan and Energy Department Secretary Moniz.

So, it looks like the Obama Adminsitration is beginning a full court press to generate support for the Administration’s plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

If so, they will need to ramp things up considerably.

I like and respect Judy Enck, but am troubled that she seems to dodge NJ debates and unfortunately  appears to have little influence on the Obama Cabinet level folks and the Administration’s energy and climate policy apparatus.

While the EPA Regional Administrator position is not in a policy making role, with the NY media market as a platform, and Enck’s prior experience working for Eliot Spitzer, and a very, very big target in the NJ Governor’s Office, Enck could be doing a lot more, without getting her  head cut off  by Obama.

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