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Green Greed – Reduced Funding For Public Lands, More Money To Private Groups

January 30th, 2019 No comments

Robbing Peter To Pay Paul and Getting Paid For It

The Dismantling of the Green Acres Public Legacy

weeds grow at restroom at Bulls Island SP – park is still closed. The building has since been demolished

weeds grow at restroom at Bulls Island SP – park is still closed. The building has since been demolished

They say it’s not over till the Fat Lady sings – well the Fat Lady just sang.

The mask is completely off – as NJ Spotlight reports today.

The corrupt saga of renewal of funding for NJ’s Green Acres open space, farmland and historic preservation is over. And so is the consensus and good will that built that legacy.

The Green Acres funding renewal saga has ended as it began, on a corrupt note.

I say “corrupt note” because I can’t think of anything more precise than corruption.

When elite private conservation groups negotiate a very bad deal, then mislead the public about it (via a $1 million PR campaign), and finally benefit financially while the public and environment suffers, that’s corruption.

And that is exactly what’s transpired.

As NJ.Com reported in the wake of passage of the Constitutional amendment:

Bill Wolfe, the head of the New Jersey chapter of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said voters were “actively misinformed” about the “unprecedented, deep cuts” brought about by the ballot initiative, blaming the Keep It Green coalition for overemphasizing the benefits to open space and downplaying the cuts.

“The public was duped on this,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe recommended restoring funding for state parks and the DEP, which could see significant staff cuts from the shortfall, before appropriating money elsewhere. (He outlined those recommendations on his blog here.)

The corruption is the result of 3 bad outcomes that we predicted would result from a very bad and self serving deal the Green Mafia negotiated:

1. A significant reduction of millions of dollars in funding for open space acquisition, farmland preservation, and historic preservation.

NJ Spotlight reports on LESS money:

Still, the overall funding falls short of what had been spent in past years when — relying mostly on borrowing — the state would devote up to $200 million on open space and farmland projects.

Despite LESS overall money, MORE money and greater share of the money goes to private conservation groups:

Nonprofit conservation groups, which leverage state open-space and farmland money with their own funds to preserve undeveloped and agricultural land, also saw increases in funds allocated to their efforts. Open-space acquisitions for nonprofits increased from 2 percent to 10 percent and farmland preservation efforts also rose from 3 percent to 4 percent.

Five times more funding to the elite conservation groups that reduced funding and screwed everybody else.

2. On top of that, hundreds of millions of dollars were diverted from State Parks capital budget; State clean water protection programs; and DEP toxic site cleanup funding;

The diversion of State Parks capital funds prompted NJ DEP State Parks Director Mark Texel to speak out publicly in opposition.

Director Mark Texel wrote the following on Keep It Green Facebook page on 11/5/14:

As the Director of the NJ State Park Service now coping with the reality that our entire Parks capital budget will be completely eliminated beginning July 1, 2015 as a result of the YES vote I can say this is the darkest day I have faced in my professional career. Worse than Superstorm Sandy. 440,000+ acres of preserved open space, 52 historic sites, 39 parks — used by 8 million visitors each year — all managed by my agency and now with no funding plan in place for stewardship beginning in just 7 months. This is not a bad reality TV show. This is New Jersey’s Inconvenient Truth hidden from voters throughout this campaign.

Washington Crossing SP – historic buildings crumbling.

Washington Crossing SP – historic buildings crumbling.

Those greedy diversions prompted the Bergen Record to editorialize in opposition to the Ballot Question.

The Bergen Record editorialized, warned voters, and urged a NO vote, see: Public Question No. 2

It may seem obvious to support dedicating money to preserve land in the nation’s most congested state, but voters really have to consider the fine print on this one.

The dedicated money from the corporate tax now is used primarily to improve water quality, to clean polluted sites and to remove underground tanks. The proposed amendment would redirect most of that money to preserve open space, farmland and historic sites. The amendment would raise the dedicated portion of the corporate business tax to 6 percent in 2019.

Critics, including some environmental groups, fear that the redirection would hurt the state’s ongoing water quality and cleanup programs.

Those chickens have now come how to roost – and the Greedy Green thieves are being rewarded.

3. Despite FAR LESS TOTAL GREEN ACRES MONEY, MORE public funds – and a greater percentage of public funds – are allocated to private land conservation groups for private purposes.

Private  land conservation groups negotiated this Green Acres funding renewal bad deal privately, behind closed doors.

Those same private land conservation groups make private decisions about where to acquire and protect land; what lands to protect; who to buy it from; how much to pay for it; and how those lands are managed and used.

Those same private land conservation groups now get more money for the terrible deal they negotiated and lied to the public about.

If the rich folks up in Harding want to pay top dollar to greedy land speculating corporations and the landed gentry, then let them spend their own money to do so – don’t steal public funds that have been taken away from State Parks and DEP environmental programs.

And what really galls me is that this elite, greedy, self dealing is masked by Big Lies and slogans like “environmental justice”, see:

And all this damage because NJ Conservation groups were too cowardly and corrupt to take on Gov. Christie and demand he renew traditional Green Acres funding levels & finance mechanism.

As the Bergen Record reported (see: Budget cuts doom state parks to disrepair (6/28/17):

Bill Wolfe, director of the non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said he didn’t believe that voters in 2014 knew this would happen.

He accused NJ Keep It Green of “intentionally, knowingly” stripping state parks of capital funding to finance Green Acres so they wouldn’t have to ask voters to approve a bond. That, he said, let open space groups avoid a public brawl with Governor Christie, who has demanded no new debt be placed on taxpayers. The coalition, he said, “didn’t have the spine to fight for the money.”

The people of NJ should be outraged by this incompetent, greedy self dealing masquerading as public interest public land conservation.

Contact your legislators and tell them to REDUCE allocations to the non-profits as punishment for the bad deal they negotiated with the Christie administration and Democratic lawmakers.

If the public budget is DEEPLY reduced, then non-profits must share the pain.

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Murphy RGGI “Cap” Would Lock In Huge Subsidies To Major Carbon Polluters

January 27th, 2019 No comments

Murphy proposed RGGI cap translates into a $2.33 BILLION annual subsidy

RGGI allowances, cap, and price constitute a license to pollute

Murphy DEP ignores climate science and NJ law

We’ve written frequently about huge flaws in RGGI, but today I want to take on a basic lie at the heart of the RGGI program.

Here it is, out of the mouth of a NJ environmentalist: [WHYY story]

Environment New Jersey president Doug O’Malley welcomes New Jersey’s reentry into the program.

“You’re finally putting a thumb on the scale and putting a price on carbon that’s being emitted from fossil-fuel power plants,” he said. “You’re creating a market to reduce that pollution, and creating a revenue stream to invest in clean, renewable energy solutions.”

I like Doug, but he is just dead wrong here.

1. RGGI does not “put a price on carbon”

RGGI does not put a price on carbon.

Just the opposite: it locks in below market allowance rates and provides regulatory certainty, thereby providing huge subsidies to major carbon polluters.

Let me offer an analogy: the benefits of RGGI to corporate polluters are similar to a renter in a rent controlled 3 bedroom apartment on the upper east side of Manhattan – with views of Central Park – that pays $500 per month rent for a guaranteed 20+ year period.

The actual market rent for that apartment is probably 25 times higher (or greater).

The most recent RGGI allowance auction clearing price was a paltry $5.35 per ton (and that’s a 4 year high, it will decline after the winter).

In contrast, DEP mandates air pollution emission fees, for far less damaging pollutants than carbon, of $122 per ton (the fees were just increased).

RGGI carbon polluters pay 22.8 times less than DEP emission fees for other pollutants, like SOx, NOx, et al.

Gov. Murphy DEP’s proposed NJ RGGI “cap” is about 20 million tons, so polluters would pay about $107 million per year.

In contrast, if they were required to pay just the same as far less damaging air pollutants, the annual cost would be  $2.44 BILLION – so the Murphy proposed RGGI cap translates into a $2.33 BILLION annual subsidy to the most harmful polluters!

Similarly, summing up all the negative economic impacts from climate change, economists have calculated the “social costs of carbon” (SCC).

EPA estimates the SCC at $105 per ton (in 2015), escalating to $212 per ton in 2050. And EPA is conservative. Other leading climate economists have estimated the SCC to be far higher, over $300 per ton.

Again RGGI polluters pay far, far less than the true cost of carbon- just like that 3 bedroom Manhattan apartment for $500 per month.

There is no RGGI price on carbon and there is no functioning market for carbon.

What we have here is NOT a market. It is what economists call massive market failure due to “externalities”, i.e. the failure of the market price of energy to incorporate the real costs of carbon.

This massive market failure is compounded by regulatory failure – so we have the worst of both worlds: market failure exacerbated by weak regulation.

The reality of RGGI is way beyond traditional “regulatory capture” and represents the State intervening on behalf of major corporate polluters to subsidize them and protect them from real market forces and strict regulation (like a total phase out of carbon fuels, something the scientists are demanding).

And the major carbon polluters are guaranteed these huge subsidies for 20 years, eliminating any market or regulatory risk.

The elimination of risk in an of itself is a huge economic benefit that can be quantified – I have not done so, but it is a huge economic subsidy.

Again by analogy, it would be like a rent control law that locked in the $500 per month Manhattan rent in perpetuity. The renter would never face a rent increase and could plan accordingly.

2. The Murphy DEP proposed RGGI “cap” ignores climate science and NJ law

The head of the Murphy DEP air pollution program basically openly admitted that the proposed RGGI “cap” was based, in part, on costs, and that it did not reflect climate science and the deep GHG emissions reduction goals of the NJ Global Warming Response Act: WHYY story:

He [DEP’s Baldauf] pointed to the juggling act between reducing emissions and being fair to consumers.

“You need to have a cap that does its job, which means it’s stringent, like all the other RGGI states have, and it drives down greenhouse gases. But in consideration, you also need a cap that is fair to the ratepayer and is not something that becomes too burdensome.”

DEP has no legislative authority to set a RGGI cap based on ratepayer or economic concerns.

In proposing a RGGI cap, by their own statements, DEP has “balanced” GHG emissions reductions against cost and ratepayer impacts.

In addition to having no legislative authorization, I guarantee that DEP has no technical basis for this “balancing”, i.e. no credible cost-benefit analysis.

DEP is subject to the Global Warming Response Act and the deep emissions reduction goals of that Act, but DEP has ignored that law in setting the RGGI “cap”.

In addition to lacking any credible technical or economic basis for setting the cap and ignoring NJ law, DEP’s proposed RGGI cap also ignores climate science, which strongly recommends even deeper and faster GHG emission reductions than the NJ GWRA 80% by 2050.

Finally, DEP still has not finalized and adopted the original 2009 GWRA Report and still lacks any plan to achieve the GHG emissions reduction goals of the GWRA.

Such a plan would expose the RGGI program for the fraud and huge polluters’ subsidy that it is.

[End Note: Doug O’Malley use of the “thumb on the scale” metaphor was a very poor choice.

That metaphor connotes cheating and ripping off people: e.g. the butcher with his thumb on the scale.

So, it plays right into the right wing ideology that government – not corporations – are corrupt and are cheating people and driving up energy costs.

It also plays right into the market fundamentalism and right wing myth that government’s role is not to pick winners and losers, but to let the so called “free market” decide. According to these folks, a government thumb on the scale distorts markets and leads to inefficient outcomes.

Ideas and words matter. Greens gotta do better than this.

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We’re On The (SKOOLIE) Bus!

January 26th, 2019 No comments

Year 3 on the road starts with a new home

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Greetings, and a belated Happy New Year.

We’ve not posted recently about our journey because we’ve been busy renovating a school bus – here’s a thumbnail of that incredible experience.

Last I posted about the journey, I was bouncing down the California coast, headed for the Arizona desert for the winter.

After a stopover in Berkeley and San Francisco, a wonderful month in Monterey, and another month in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, I was ready to get off the coast and into the desert. So I headed to Bisbee Arizona for New Year’s.

But, after a few cold nights in the California high desert,

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and “The Heart of the Mojave”

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I arrived in Bisbee and was greeted by snow, 20 degrees, and 30 mph winds!

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After freezing my ass off, I headed back to the Coast and arrived in San Diego, where it was 65 degrees.

And that’s where our incredible story begins.

The first morning in town (Ocean Beach), we walked “Dog Beach” at Sunrise.

Later that morning, I came across this really cool looking turquoise school bus parked by the beach. It had a hand made “For Sale” sign on the windshield, so I poked my head in and was amazed by the interior woodwork and cabinets.

I met the owner, a guy named Adam.

Adam is a former US Marine, and lives in his 4 window turquoise bus with his wife Kristen and 4 year old son Micah.

The bus is decorated with Dr. Seuss trufula trees on the ceiling and quotes on the exterior and door panels:

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

The front of the bus has Adam’s logo: “A Good Life -Time, Freedom, Grace” – and the rear of the bus has a “Semper Fi” USMC logo.

I’ve never come across that juxtaposition.

I asked Adam who did all the beautiful painting and wood work. He said he did.

After a long and interesting conversation, I asked him if he could build me one.

He said sure thing, and that he knew a guy who had 100 school buses for sale I could look at.

Next day, we drove to the bus guy and I bought a clean as a whistle 2007 Chevy (6.0 L Vortec engine with 100,000 well maintained miles) 5 window bus.

We immediately started on the project that night, when we removed the seats.

Here’s Adam at the start (Jan. 3, 2019) – that’s his bus in the background:

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Here’s what the interior looked like before we removed the seats – that’s Kristen, Adam’s lovely wife (Kristen was awesome in the seat removal effort and later helped with the painting and did the windows treatments and couch fabric):

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The next morning, we headed to Home Depot to begin the interior – first Adam installed the hard wood floor and then the bed and cabinets – check it out:

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The interior was done in less than a week. And all the work was done in the Home Depot parking lot!

The interior includes a a queen size platform bed; a kitchen with hand pumped water, a counter-top for food preparation, a stove, and propane tank; a couch (with storage underneath); slide out drawers under the bed (with huge storage area under bed); a table (with dirty laundry storage under it), a refrigerator; and gorgeous trim.  The cabinets are tight and click shut. Nothing rattles. It’s solid as a rock.

Kristen then went shopping for the fabric for the windows and couch – check out the gorgeous color and awesome pattern!

We then got hit with 10 days of rain and high winds, which delayed the painting and installation of the solar system. I also had shipment problems with the solar, which delayed the finish. The Renogy solar system is huge: 300 watts of panels on the roof, a 40 amp MPPT solar controller, 400 amp hours of battery storage and a 3000 watt inverter.

Here’s Adam, Kristen and Micah smiling before their completed creation on Jan. 25, 2019:

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Here’s some shots of the interior:

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Adam is an incredibly talented carpenter/bus builder – he’s straight up honest and a generous and wonderful person. There were no surprises with the money end of things either.

And the experience of building the bus and hanging out with Adam and his Ocean Beach friends was awesome fun and something I will never forget.

Adam summers in Oregon and fishes and hosts a camp on the Columbia River.

He’s looking for work building your bus and will work with you throughout the process to make things easier.

If you are interested, drop me an email and I’ll get you his phone number.

And Bouy loves his new home too!

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It’s The Pinelands PROTECTION Act, Not The Corporate Stewardship and Mitigation Act

January 24th, 2019 No comments

Gov. Murphy’s Pinelands Nomination Opens Fundamental Policy Debate

Most environmentalists have relationships with power companies and other utilities. It is how we try to influence their goals, their land stewardship, and push for stronger clean power goals at the state level. ~~~ Jennifer M. Coffey, Executive Director,  ANJEC (1/23/19 email – available on request)

This post is a followup to my recent criticism of Gov. Murphy’s nomination to the Pinelands Commission of NJ Audubon’s lobbyist, Kelly Mooij.

I am disgusted but not surprised by the quote above, which was part of a series of push back emails to local Pinelands activists who had raised concerns about Ms. Mooij’s relationships with energy companies, including the same companies that are proposing and building gas pipelines across the Pinelands to serve a fossil power plant on the shore, named BL England.

It is blatantly not true that “most environmentalists” have relationships with power companies.

That false statement reveals just how corrupt the mainstream “conservation” community in NJ has become.

Those “relationships” between certain conservation groups and power companies, like PSEG, have resulted in all sorts of corrupt deals – deals that are directly related to Ms. Mooij’s suitability to serve on the Pinelands Commission.

Let me explain, as I offered no details in my prior post.

Recall that the original South jersey Gas Pipeline proposal (called the MOA) included an $8 million contribution as “mitigation”, essentially a quid pro quo for regulatory approval by the Commission.

As I wrote at the time:

Commissioner Jackson said that he had just undergone ethics training and that the MOA harmed the Commission’s integrity and created the appearance of taking $8 million, paid by ratepayers, in exchange for approval. He warned his fellow Commissioners about growing public concern, particularly in light of South Jersey Gas’ recent request for a rate increase. Commissioner Jackson even said it looks like “we’re being paid off to do this.”

This is the relationship and regulatory model that corrupt NJ Audubon and fellow conservation groups openly support.

They support money contributions to purchase land to “mitigate” harm – and, of course, their own organizations receive some of that money – directly or indirectly – either via “partnerships” with power companies, as consultants to DEP or power companies, or via receipt of State open space money to purchase land.

EXACTLY the same kind of “mitigation” contribution was used to grease the skids for regulatory approvals of the Susquehanna-Roseland power line through the Delaware Water Gap and NJ Highlands, see: The Mendacity of the Mitigation Manipulators, where I included these news quotes:

To mitigate the loss, the utilities behind the line – PSE&G and PPL – last week announced an offer of land worth $30 million for public preservation. The” thousands of acres of land” has been identified as priorities by conservation groups, according to Karen Johnson, a PSE&G spokeswoman. ~~~ Morris Daily Record 1/26/12

As I said at the time:

Bill Wolfe of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility called the utilities’ recently announced offer to buy and preserve $30 million in nearby lands as “mitigation” for the power lines a test of the National Park Service’s integrity. “It’s an offense to the public process,” Wolfe said. ~~~ Pocono Record 1/25/12

That $30 million was only the federal part of the corrupt deal. (The final deal was closer to $60 million).

An additional $18 million was paid to the NJ Highlands Council:

A proposal by PSE&G would more than triple the line’s current size and capacity. The utility company today slightly amended the proposed line to limit its environmental impact. 

PSE&G has slightly amended the route of a proposed power line through northern New Jersey to limit environmental damage and will create an $18.6 million fund to finance environmental repairs, the company said today. (Star Ledger, 5/19/09)

Those elite dirty deals were cut behind closed doors and sold out and betrayed real grassroots activists who had been vigorously opposing those projects.

NJ Audubon and fellow conservation groups supported those dirty deals.

The “relationships” between energy companies and conservation groups are long established.

PSEG has been spreading a LOT of money around for a LONG time.

The PSEG contributions to and relationships with conservation groups have paid off handsomely, in huge profits and huge damage to the environment.

Just one historical example: PSEG garnered support from their conservation friends for a mitigation deal in Delaware Bay, whereby PSEG avoided the billion dollar costs of installing cooling towers at their 3 nuclear plants on the Delaware in exchange for a sham wetlands mitigation project.

As a result, the nuke plants slaughter billions of fish and aquatic organisms, while PSEG profits by avoiding billions in compliance costs.

NJ Audubon and fellow conservation groups agreed to support that dirty deal, providing PSEG with billion dollar green cover. They sold out. Period.

More recently, the same friendly conservation groups did not oppose the billion dollar PSEG nuke bailout.

See how that corruption works?

These sellouts include political, legislative and regulatory battles, where NJ Audubon and conservation friends get co-opted and support horrible compromises.

Ms. Coffey openly states the source of the problem. She views private, behind closed door, dealings with the power companies as a way to:

influence their goals, their land stewardship, and push for stronger clean power goals at the state level.

The real way to influence power companies and “push for stronger clean power goals” is not by taking money from them and asking for voluntary “stewardship” and tokens.

The way to influence their behavior is via activism, science, democracy, legislation, regulation and lawsuits.

Jennifer Coffey and Kelly Mooij have been wading in those corrupt Trenton swamps for years.

They hide behind slogans like “stewardship” and “mitigation” to try to cover up the stench.

We don’t need these kinds of relationships or stewardship or mitigation deals in the Pinelands.

Just ask the Senate Judiciary Committee to say NO to Ms. Mooij.

And the Green Mafia needs to back off the pushback on real grass roots activists.

It is amazing and sickening that Jennifer Coffee never once appeared before the Commission to oppose the pipelines, but now she challenges real activists who did in defense of the indefensible.

But that’s just the ethics and view from the swamp she lives in.

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Gov. Murphy’s Belated Pinelands Nomination Sparks Controversy

January 22nd, 2019 No comments

NJ Audubon Lobbyist Not Well Suited To Needed Pinelands Reforms

A year into his tenure, NJ Gov. Murphy finally made 2 nominations to the Pinelands Commission.

The Commission was a battleground during the Christie Administration, as debates raged over controversial pipelines, power plants, developments and failure to respond to climate change, failure to restrict water allocation, and stop off road vehicle destruction, among others.

The Commission’s reputation, independence and integrity were severely eroded as a result of Gov. Christie’s hard ball politics and the subversion by his loyal Executive Director, Nancy Wittenberg (remember this?):

“There was a degree of closeness between the applicant and staff that went beyond the neutrality appropriate to a review process,” said [Pinelands Commission Chairman] Lohbauer, a lawyer. ~~~ Philadelphia Inquirer (1/26/15)

The Christie Pinelands regime prompted editorial outrage:

New Jersey’s Pinelands Commission was once a respected, independent steward of a forest that filters the drinking water for millions in the region. But political manipulation has turned it into an ineffective agency that looks the other way when the preserve’s delicate balance is threatened.  ~~~ Philadelphia Inquirer editorial: “Christie bullied Pinelands panel to get his way (3/9/16)

Given this recent history, the Commission was badly in need of bold leadership and a clean sweep of the Executive Director and Commission members.

Unfortunately, Gov. Murphy has failed that leadership test: in the delay in acting, in failing to force out ED Wittenberg, and in one of his choices for a new Commissioner, Kelly Mooij.

Murphy’s other nominee, Theresa Lettman, is superb, so I will waste no effort here in praising her.

In contrast, for the last decade, Ms. Mooij has served as the Trenton lobbyist for NJ Audubon and in that capacity has advocated NJ Audubon’s interests.

And that raises major concerns, including:

1. A Trenton lobbyist is not well suited to the work of the Pinelands Commission, which must be above the day to day compromises, spin, and deals (and worse) of the Trenton scene.

The last thing the Commission needs right now is more Trenton political baggage and more Trenton deals.

The Commission needs leadership, integrity, and impeccable professional credentials. By dint of her own experience, Ms. Mooij simply fails that test.

2. NJ Audubon has a very controversial approach to “stewardship” of public lands.

That approach includes: a) commercial logging of public lands; b) elevation of dubious science and narrow single bird species conservation over broader public lands policy and environmental interests (while misleading the public); c) leading the “Keep It Green” coalition, which deceived the public about diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars in State Parks capital funds and environmental funding to the Green Acres program; d) deceptive federal farmland conservation grant money laundering to promote the private interests of forestry consultants, private landowners, and hunters; e) supporting scientifically flawed “mitigation” schemes – including money donations in exchange for regulatory approvals – and land deals to allow controversial projects to pass regulatory muster; f) acceptance of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from wealthy private individuals to do their special private interest land “stewardship” bidding; and g) forming a “partnership” with Donald Trump.

These NJ Audubon views include strong support of “active management” of public forests and public lands, e.g. See:

Such arrogant and scientifically dubious “active management” policy is exactly the wrong approach to the ecologically sensitive Pinelands, which demand a more humble and restrained passive approach.

I have gone into excruciating detail and provided evidence to support all of these claims here at Wolfenotes over the last few years, with the exception of the federal farmland conservation grant money laundering, which I recently learned of and am still researching.

Ms. Mooij is fully aware of all these abuses and has supported them in Trenton on multiple occasions.

3. NJ Audubon has close relationships with corporate NJ, including major development and energy companies that are active in the Pinelands and before the Pinelands Commission.

These relationships directly result in NJA positions on public lands and conservation issues in a way that compromises the public interest in favor of NJA’s corporate allies and funders.

NJ Audubon openly promotes these relationships in their “Corporate Stewardship Council”.

Member companies include co-chairs PSEG and Mannington Mills, as well as Atlantic City Electric/Pepco Holdings, Covanta Energy, Chemours, Eastern Propane, JCP&L, Johnson and Johnson, New Jersey American Water, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, Pfizer, Suez, Verizon, ExxonMobil, South Jersey Gas, Pine Island Cranberry Co. Inc., U.S. Silica and Crystal Springs Resort. Former CSC members include New Jersey Natural Gas, Merck, and Eagle Ridge Golf Course. Ex-officio CSC members are the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Ms. Mooij is fully aware of these relationships and has supported and defended them in Trenton.

Appointment to the Pinelands Commission would send exactly the wrong signal on issues of independence and integrity.

Some of these relationships pour salt on open wounds that are festering from major pipeline battles still pending resolution that remain before the Commission, e.g. see: Construction starts on Pinelands pipeline, Phil Murphy silent

Finally, Ms. Mooij might be forced to recuse from critical decisions, due to this prior “stewardship” work.

4. Ms. Mooij has not been a leader in the Pinelands

Ms. Mooij and NJ Audubon have very little positive accomplishments in the Pinelands, and have been basically invisible during major debates before the Commission.(in contrast to fellow nominee Ms. Lettman’s long tenure, aggressive activism, and love of the Pines).

That is the opposite of the leadership so badly needed right now at the Commission.

5. Ms. Mooij has cynically manipulated people

I close the argument with a photo – which speaks volumes. That’s Ms. Mooij on the right:

Newark Mayor Baraka used as prop by Keep It Green – Did Baraka and urban Dems get played, or what?

Newark Mayor Baraka used as prop by Keep It Green – Did Baraka and urban Dems get played, or what?

Given the above, I encourage readers to reach out to the Chairman and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge that Ms. Mooij not receive a confirmation hearing.

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