Home > Uncategorized > Right On Cue, NJ Gov. Murphy’s “Green” Cheerleaders Change The Subject And Divert From Fossil Moratorium

Right On Cue, NJ Gov. Murphy’s “Green” Cheerleaders Change The Subject And Divert From Fossil Moratorium

NJ Spotlight Maintains News Blackout Of Fossil Moratorium, With A Little Help From Murphy’s Friends

[See End Note for clarification]

Repeating a disturbing pattern, Governor Murphy’s “green” cheerleaders and the stenographers in NJ media – especially NJ Spotlight, purportedly the leading NJ media outlet for energy and environmental policy coverage out of Trenton  –  have once again helped Gov. Murphy avoid accountability on his actual climate record and maintained the news blackout on the critically important issue of the need for a moratorium on expansion of fossil infrastructure.

The cheerleaders and stenographers did exactly the same thing just 2 years ago in 2019.

This time around, here’s the concerted diversion sequence – watch how quickly and strategically the news managing cheerleaders and stenographers sprang into action:

The result is that on November 16, there remained a virtual news blackout of the moratorium issue and Senate action – just what the Gov. wanted (other than my note).

Media silence and stenography are just what DEP Commissioner LaTourette wanted. He wants no focus on his multiple failures – or the gross conflicts that his prior revolving door work as a corporate lawyer for fossil LNG export Fortress Energy.

And just what the NJ corporate polluters at NJ BIA and the Chamber of Commerce wanted: no focus or discussion of the need for binding DEP regulations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

And I didn’t even mention the absurd Assembly bill heard on the same day and at the same time the Senate Environment Committee was hearing the moratorium Resolution – that would purportedly “codify” the goals of the Murphy Energy Master Plan. The bill codifies Gov. Murphy’s priorities, but completely ignores the primary and overriding goal of the EMP, which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!

See how that all works?

If anyone thinks that this flurry of diversionary press conferences, press releases, Op-Eds, and news coverage are purely a coincidence, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Florida for sale.

The pattern of abuse is so blatant that it is incredible that it is not exposed and publicly denounced for the gross manipulation it is.

The most recent example is yesterday’s approval by the Senate Environment Committee of a non-binding Resolution that would urge Gov. Murphy to impose a moratorium on new fossil projects. The Resolution was sponsored by retiring Senate Majority Leader Weinberg, and could be viewed as a legacy accomplishment.

Despite the Senate Committee’s approval – and a newsworthy announcement by Committee Chairman Smith that he would seek a voter referendum to amend the NJ Constitution to impose a moratorium – there was literally a news blackout.

How could that happen? Let me briefly explain.

If we are going to slow down or minimize catastrophic and runaway climate chaos, the first step is to stop expanding the extraction of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas and building new fossil infrastructure like pipelines, compressor stations, LNG export facilities, and power plants.

Scientists have been warning about this looming catastrophe for well over a decade. Climate activists call this a “keep it in the ground” strategy.

At the national level, climate activists made some progress on these issues when President Biden issued an Executive Order that announced a “pause” on new oil and gas leases on federal lands (Executive Order (see Sect. 208) .

But Biden rapidly folded in the face of Big Oil and Republican resistance and instead of codifying the EO’s “pause” into a more permanent moratorium, according to the Associated Press, oil and gas permits are being issued by the Biden administration at a record pace.

Prior to the Biden short lived “pause”, here in NJ, in 2019, climate activists formed a coalition of over 100 groups, called “Empower NJ”, to pressure Gov. Murphy to impose a moratorium on several pending fossil infrastructure projects.

In July, frustrated by the lack of success of their political campaign and continued inaction by the Murphy DEP, the Empower NJ Coalition filed what is called a formal “petition for rulemaking” to DEP to demand regulatory action by DEP, including a moratorium on fossil.

In October the Murphy DEP declined to act on the rulemaking petition.

Instead – just like Biden’s capitulation to Big Oil and Gas’ political power – DEP Commissioner LaTourette appeared before NJ corporate hacks at a climate denial conference to tout continued reliance on fossil fuels an effectively mock climate activists.

Remarkably, while the moratorium issue and the petition for rulemaking got virtually no press coverage, NJ Spotlight did report DEP Commissioner LaTourette’s support for fossil – at an NJ BIA conference stacked with climate deniers – and misleading statements about the effects of a moratorium.

So, there’s the real issues and the real context.

So, we’ll close by repeating the question we began with: Why the continuing news blackout on the fossil moratorium issue?

[End Note: I’m getting blasted by a knowledgeable reader for being soft on the environmentalists:

I think you gave the enviros (CWA , Sierra ENJ) a free pass – they did not  even try  to make climate moratorium and env major campaign  issues – they all endorsed like sheep.

The reader is correct. I agree that they failed miserably to make their own moratorium campaign and DEP petition for rulemaking endorsement requirements and political issues.

I think that’s due to a combination of incompetence, cowardice and corruption.

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