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The Real McCoy? Or Cynical Sabotage?

What explains all these contradictions? 

How do you feel about a manipulative and fake media campaign to ignore real climate risks, to undermine real activists, to benefit elite interests & to give Gov. Murphy a pass?

NJ Spotlight published an Op-Ed today on the Penn East pipeline, ostensibly written by Brandon McCoy, President of NJ Policy Perspective:

Aside from Mr. McCoy’s lack of expertise, experience or prior involvement in climate or energy policy   –  while NJ Spotlight fails to publish Op-Ed’s by many groups and authors who have these qualifications or other fossil infrastructure projects – in reading Mr. McCoy’s Op-Ed, ask yourself one basic question:

Why is NJ Policy Perspective, a State level group, led by a President who touts his his personal leadership

of the organization’s efforts in shaping policy debates to advance economic justice for the many, not a chosen few”

 and with a statewide organizational mission

to advance economic justice and prosperity for all New Jerseyans through evidence-based, independent research, analysis and advocacy” (emphases added)

writing an Op-Ed about the Penn East pipeline, a project and narrow single issue (not any POLICY) that most directly impacts the backyards of and is opposed by the “CHOSEN FEW” of Hunterdon County? (do I need to publish the demographics of Hunterdon County? – or the Board , membership and financial contributors of the NJ Conservation Foundation?)

Why wouldn’t such an advocate of “policy” and “economic justice“, leading an organization seeking to “advance economic justice and prosperity for all New Jerseyans”, actually mention any of that in an Op-Ed?

Why wouldn’t that President of that Organization, tackling climate and energy issues being addressed at the State level by BPU and DEP, instead focus on real statewide policy issues that impact the 99% of New Jerseyans, other than the “chosen few” wealthy property owners in Hunterdon County impacted by the Penn East pipeline?

There is nothing in Mr. McCoy’s Op-Ed of statewide significance.

There is nothing about climate change or energy policy.

There is nothing about the disproportionate impacts of climate chaos on distressed urban communities or economic and environmental justice for those communities.

There is nothing about Gov. Murphy’s rhetorical commitments to battle climate change and promote environmental justice and the need to hold the Governor accountable to those commitments.

There is nothing about the pending Murphy BPU Energy Master Plan, the driver of Statewide energy policy and whether it will enforce and finance the dire warnings of climate scientists and make deep and accelerated reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

There is nothing about DEP’s failed efforts to implement the Global Warming Response Act or flaws in the GWRA or RGGI.

And why would opposition to a specific pipeline not criticize the fact that DEP regulations do NOT consider climate change in fossil infrastructure permitting? (Or that the Christie DEP rolled back these protections?)

There is nothing about all the other pending fossil infrastructure projects and the Coalition of numerous state and local groups that are urging Gov. Murphy to impose a moratorium on new fossil infrastructure.

Virtually nothing that meets the stated mission of NJ Policy Perspective and the leadership commitments of its President, Mr. McCoy.

On top of all those failures, while Mr. McCoy does mention New York State – yet amazingly, he fails to mention the most obvious and significant fact that NY Gov. Cuomo previously has killed pipelines, most recently the proposed pipeline under Raritan Bay currently pending an imminent DEP permit decision!!!

Instead, we get the same recycled arguments and talking points of Tom Gilbert and Rethink Energy NJ.

What explains all these contradictions?

Could it be that Jon Shure – longtime  partisan NJ Democratic political operative and corporate democratic policy wonk with relationships with Gov. Murphy –  the Founder and current member of the Board of Trustees of NJ Policy Perspective, and currently employed by Taft Communications, had something to do with writing and marketing this Op-Ed?

[Jon Shure]He was communications director through Gov. Jim Florio’s term in office. Jon was founding president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, building it into an influential state research/advocacy organization, and was director of state communications at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.

Back in February, we exposed the role of Taft Communications in an incredibly timed prior NJ Spotlight Op-Ed by Tom Gilbert, which we called out as an effort to sabotage the fossil moratorium campaign, see:

Rethink NJ pays for a consulting firm for communication services, including drafting Op-Eds and working behind the scenes to get them published (it is not easy to get an Op-Ed published, and as noted above, Tom Gilbert meets NONE of the traditional qualifying tests for an Op-Ed opportunity).

That consulting firm is Taft Communications.

If you hit the link on “Client List”, you can see Rethink Energy NJ listed as a client.

But if you also look slightly above Rethink, you will see that PSEG is also a Taft client.

Mr. McCoy – and Mr. Shure – are engaged in the same game that Mr. Gilbert played back in February.

They won’t put any pressure on or make any demands of their political friend, Gov. Murphy.

The won’t join is solidarity with other NJ Communities and activists battling fossil infrastructure projects.

They work hard to marginalize the radicals, co-opt the local activist, and take credit for their work.

They are willing to sellout out their grandmothers and lie to the public (by commission or omission).

All they care about is the wealthy elite who fund them and their own careers and salaries.

I call bullshit on all that and shame on them.

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