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The Only Heat Christie Gets from Trenton Is The Weather

No Accountability For Abysmal Record, as Christie Works The Hustings

I had hope the Democrats in the Legislature and media would make it a long hot summer for the Christie Administration by holding an intensive series of oversight hearings on Governor Christie’s abysmal record over the  last 5 years so that voters (and national media) in primary campaign states would know what they’re voting for.

Clearly, after the Exxon deal, we know that the Dems sure know how to put on a show.

I even teed up a list of environmental issues that illustrate that record (see this). We’re in a target rich environment.

In addition to pushback from Trenton Democrats, I had assumed that – as a leading chronicler of Christie’s environmental record – my phone would be ringing from Democrats doing oppo research and press doing accountability on Christie’s record.

Forget about that –

It seems like – whether its privatizing NJ’s water infrastructure or the toxic site cleanup program – half the Democrats in leadership are still working the “bi-partisan” Christie-crat rollback agenda and the press has other compelling things to write about, like Trump’s latest racist or ignorant remarks and whether Christie is polling at 2% or 5% (or even just 1%).

For example, DEP just adopted coastal management regulations that WEAKEN existing protections for the shore and – in the wake of Sandy – promote new development in hazardous shore locations (vulnerable to coastal storm surge and sea level rise) and remarkably IGNORE climate change and sea level rise.

But Democrats never mounted any effort to promote their own coastal policy alternative to Christie’s “rebuild madness” and privatization and outsourcing of climate adaptation work, which was Senator Barnes’s Coastal Commission bill that died in silence, as Barnes fell on his sword and coastal environmental groups were AWOL.

[* Not only were they AWOL is building public support for the bill, but coastal groups were prepared to OPPOSE Barnes’ bill – ask him how I had to argue vehemently, at a Trenton meeting I wasn’t even invited to but crashed, to stop them from OPPOSING the bill. Barns thanked me several times for that. Ask him, or the enviro leaders who were in the room.]

Similarly, DEP just proposed regulations under the Flood Hazard Act that weaken flood protections and would essentially eliminate one of the most effective land use and water quality programs of the last two decades, known as “Category One” 300 foot buffer protections.

Bergen County’s Senator Bob Gordon proposed legislation to strengthen that program and update decades old flood maps, so one would assume that he would want to be first in line in defending NJ’s stream protections, particularly given the persistent flooding in North Jersey.

But how can Gordon, who Chairs the Senate Regulatory Oversight Committee or Senate Environmental Committee Chairman Smith hold hearings on the Christie DEP’s proposed weakening of NJ’s flood protection and stream buffer protection program when Senate President Sweeney said THIS about the DEP’s buffer protection program during the Corzine Administration, who was weakening the program at the time but apparently didn’t go far enough for Sweeney.

404. COMMENT: The proposed Category One designations would appear to be more about curbing development than enhancing water quality standards. Unfortunately, this new regulatory proposal tips the balance even more against the economic prosperity of the areas, district 24 and 3. (127, 221)  (source: DEP regulatory document) 

Commenter #127 was Republican Senate leader Bob Littell – does that “bi-partisan” stuff sound familiar?

Oh, and I forgot, the Trenton environmental groups are similarly compromised, because they blindly supported Corzine DEP Chief Lisa Jackson on this C1 rollback in 2008 (I think I called it”Betrayal by the Brook”)

But who knows – maybe they’ll be a massive turnout and protest at the August 11 Energy Master Plan public hearing that rivals the People’s Climate March.

Keep Hope Alive!

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