Home > Uncategorized > Climate Questions For Gov. Murphy At Rutgers

Climate Questions For Gov. Murphy At Rutgers

A bait and switch at Rutgers to dodge tough critical questions for the Gov.

[Update below – favorable response from Rutgers on disabling YouTube comments]

I received an email last week on Friday from Rutgers that provided notice and requested that I submit questions for Gov. Murphy at Rutgers on a Jan 22 (today) webinar impressively titled:

  • What’s on the Horizon for Implementing New Jersey’s Climate Agenda?

I immediately sent Rutgers 18 questions for the Gov. I copied NJ Spotlight reporter Jon Hurdle in the hope that he would ask those kind of tough questions.

But, buried in my email this morning, I found this confusing and evasive email from Rutgers (sent late Wednesday afternoon) advising that my questions were not accepted and had to be resubmitted during the webinar!

Hi Bill,

Thank you for your interest in our upcoming webinar. I apologize for the confusion, the automatic confirmation that came from Zoom is intended for technical questions for help with accessing the webinar. The wording has since been clarified, but anyone who registered before a certain date received the less clear wording in their confirmation. Questions for panelists will need to be submitted during the webinar via the chat box.

Thanks, -Matt

I found the explanation, at best, sketchy and evasive. I received an email directly from Rutgers asking for questions, to which I replied. The email exchange had nothing to do with any Zoom invitation. So, the explanation is also factually false.

[*** and Rutgers turned off comments on the YouTube of the event. Obviously, that’s a way to suppress criticism and democratic dialogue. I also just learned that the event was sponsored by, among others, PSE&G! – See Update below]

Perhaps the folks at Rutgers didn’t want to be affiliated with these kind of critical questions. Or perhaps the Gov. Office changed the format for submitting questions to better control them.

So, here are the questions I posed which I hope someone asked – some of the questions explore important regulatory issues that the media and environmental groups have ignored: (those unasked questions are in boldface below)

Hi Matt – here are a few questions for Gov. Murphy and Acting DEP Commissioner Latourette off the top of my head. I’ll get a more through set to you on Monday:

1) Why did the “environmental justice” legislation you signed fail to include climate?

2) Why did your representative on the DRBC vote in favor of the LNG terminal on the Delaware River?

3) Why is DEP pushing out scores of major air pollution control permits for major sources of greenhouse gas emissions without any consideration of climate impacts?

4) Same question (#3) for fossil infrastructure projects and land use permits.

5) Given the fact that DEP regulations do not address climate, and that hundreds of DEP permits are being issued for major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and fossil infrastructure, why didn’t you impose a moratorium on such DEP approvals pending adoption of climate regulations? (e.g. like pending DEP Climate PACT)?

6) Have you read DEP’s “80/50″ Report pursuant to the Global Warming Response Act? If so, how, specifically, will you meet the science based GHG emissions reductions and timetables in that Report?

7) Have you read the Global Warming Response Act? Are you aware that the goals of the Act are aspirational and the Act does not provide regulatory authority to DEP to meet the goals of the Act or mandate that DEP does so?

8) Are you aware of the recent IPCC Report that suggested we have about a decade to make deep GHG emissions reductions to avoid potentially catastrophic warming in excess of Paris Accords 1.5 degree C?

If so, why is your Energy Master Plan based on and the DEP PACT regulatory initiative driven by the GWRA 2050 timeframe?

9) Why does BPU EMP postpone initiation of electrification of the building sector until 2030?

10) How will you ramp up the current paltry EV and others transportation sector programs to meet science based emissions reductions?

11) Do you support extension of the $300 million/year subsidy to PSEG nukes?

12) Do you support a new modular nuke plant at the Oyster Creek site in Lacey Township?

13) How will you deal with major fossil infrastructure projects in the DEP regulatory pipeline (pun intended?)

14) Do you support a “strategic retreat” from flood hazard and coast hazard zones? If not why not?

15) Do you support the current DEP regulatory policy that provides a “right to rebuild” storm damaged property?

That policy is one of the main reason why NJ is among the top 4 States for repeat flooding claims under the federal flood insurance program.

16) when will the DEP environmental justice regulations be proposed? Will they be adopted before the election?

17) Same question for climate PACT regulations.

18) What does an individual’s sexual preferences have to do with qualifications for a DEP Commissioner?

Why did you mention sexual preference in Acting Commissioner LaTourette’s press release?

All for now. Let me know if you need backup documentation for these questions.


[Update – 1/18/21 – I reached out to Rutgers to complain about the disabling of the YouTube comments. I just received this favorable reply:

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your feedback. When the channel was set up, I was concerned about spam and inappropriate comments, so I set the channel’s default to just disabling comments.

However, I see your point, and now that the channel has become more popular especially now that we host recordings for NJ Climate Change Alliance/NJ Climate Change Resource Center, I agree it would be productive to allow viewers to comment and discuss their views on the content.

I went ahead and enabled comments for all of the NJ Climate Change Alliance and NJ Climate Change Resource Center recordings, and will work through the older recordings as time permits.


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
You must be logged in to post a comment.