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Another Shoe Drops In The Keep It Green Scheme

Democratic Legislators Raid $20 M Clean Energy Fund To Restore Open Space Cuts

Another Transfer of resources from poor/urban to wealthy suburban

[Update #2 – 6/27/15 – Gov. Christie line item vetoed the $20 million Clean Energy Fund diversion (look at line item vetoes). It was the right thing to do, but given Christie’s $1 billion diversion from Clean Energy Fund, it was deeply hypocritical.  ~~~  end update]

[Update below]

NJ Spotlight reports that legislative budget revisions propose to raid another $20 million from the Clean Energy Fund to restore cuts made by the Keep It Green scheme, see:

In an incredibly hypocritical move, the Democrats now join Governor Christie, who they have criticized for diverting over $1 billion of Clean Energy Fund revenues to close budget gaps created by his corporate tax cuts.

So, on the heels of The Pope’s encyclical calling for immediate and aggressive action to address climate change and rapidly transition to renewable energy – with a special emphasis on justice for the poor – NJ Democratic legislators are slashing a critical fund that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps poor and urban residents.

The $20 million in Clean Energy Funds would go to restore the raid on State Parks funds by the Keep It Green Coalition’s Open Space debacle.

In response to the huge public outcry from State Parks supporters, even the Democrats’ Open Space implementation bill would restore the parks cuts recklessly caused by the KIG Open Space debacle.

The Keep It Green Coalition created this problem with their “Rob Peter to pay Paul” scheme so I blame them.

First, they tried to raid critical DEP clean water programs and State parks funds.

When that fact was exposed and the public was outraged, the raids were restored by the Gov.’s budget.

Now, legislators are caving in to pressure from KIG lobbyists and raiding the Clean Energy Fund.

The Gov. should line item veto this raid, but his hands are so dirty that may not be possible.

The Democrats are not serving their own constituents.

The Clean Energy Fund money helps urban and low income people lower their energy bills while they reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time, these residents receive the least benefits from Open Space money, which goes predominately to the wealthy suburbs and rural areas of NJ.

The net effect is a double whammy:  a transfer of resources from programs that serve residents of poor and urban areas to wealthy white areas.

That is deeply unjust and very bad climate and public policy.

How do the Democrats and Keep It Green weenies who created this mess look themselves in the mirror?

[Update: Here is proof positive that this cynical move was coordinated by Dems and Keep it Green:

Jenn Coffey of ANJEC/KIG perfectly times an Op-Ed to provide cover for the maneuver. Jenn continues the lies of former KIG leader Tom Gilbert with this whopper:

Jenn repeats and perpetuates the KIG lies and fails to note that the KIG Ballot initiative diverted existing funds dedicated to core DEP water resource, toxic site cleanup, and state parks programs.

This was a massive deception of the voters who thought they were supporting open space, not slashing critical environmental programs and State parks funds.

Jenn also tries to respond indirectly to critics by including allocations to NJ’s urban areas.

Based on what she wrote, I wonder if she’s ever been in neighborhoods of Newark, Paterson, Irvington, Camden et al and compared the “open space” to the Hopewell, Pennington and Princeton backyards she protects.  ~~~ end update]

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