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Murphy DEP Playing A Perpetual Bureaucratic Shell Game On Climate Emergency

Executive Orders, Press Releases, Strategies, Stakeholder Processes, And Plans

DEP Constantly Launching New Processes That Provide Cover And Avoid Action

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Source: NJ DEP “Natural And Working Lands Strategy” (March 2023)

I want to thank DEP for the above graphic depiction of exactly what I’ve been thinking about writing about for some time now. It makes my job so much easier (and I’d bet I’m one of the few who have actually read these documents and critiqued their contents.)

In just one chart, DEP managed to illustrate the ridiculous bureaucratic shell game they’ve been playing for 6 years now under Governor Murphy’s “climate leadership”.

A “call to action”? What bullshit.

It’s a never ending series of bureaucratic processes that produce absolutely zero substantive results. Revealingly, DEP’s own “milestones” ignore implementation!

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(and they left out over a year of Stakeholder process for Senator Smith’s Forestry Task Force!)

But it does generate abundant favorable press coverage (witness today’s NJ Spotlight – another example of their puff piece gaslighting) and it does create the public appearance of actually responding to the climate emergency.

It also consumes the time and resources of the climate activists, who worship access and just want to be invited to the next meeting!

When coupled with DEP grants, it completely co-opts those groups and thwarts any criticism of DEP’s inaction (remember, DEP is a regulatory agency, even if all the press releases make them look more like a bank or financial institution with all the money they are dishing out. They’re looking like a Legislative appropriations Committee these days, with all the money and unfettered discretion to allocate it. Gov. Murphy understands that cash buys friends and political support. DEP is just another patronage site.)

Finally, these noble sounding processes provide cover for avoiding the hard regulatory decisions that must be made by DEP.

Meanwhile, shit like this goes on below the radar – the DEP Bureau of Climate Resilience buys a “Forestry Excavator” and DEP is logging State forests under the guise of a sham “Carbon Defense” policy in the State Forest Action Plan:

———- Original Message ———-
From: Bill WOLFE <>
To: senbsmith <SenBSmith@njleg.org>, sengreenstein <sengreenstein@njleg.org>, “kduhon@njleg.org” <kduhon@njleg.org>, Anjuli Ramos <anjuli.ramos@sierraclub.org>, “Taylor McFarland, NJ Sierra Club” <taylor.mcfarland@sierraclub.org>, “tom@njconservation.org” <tom@njconservation.org>, “emile@njconservation.org” <emile@njconservation.org>, “sensarlo@njleg.org” <sensarlo@njleg.org>, “senscutari@njleg.org” <senscutari@njleg.org>, SUSAN RUSSELL <selizabethrussell@verizon.net>, Silvia Solaun <ssolaun@gmail.com>, “jonhurdle@gmail.com” <jonhurdle@gmail.com>, Robert Hennelly <rhennelly55@gmail.com>, “wparry@ap.org” <wparry@ap.org>, “fkummer@inquirer.com” <fkummer@inquirer.com>, “Tittel, Jeff” <jeff.tittel@verizon.net>, “tmoran@starledger.com” <tmoran@starledger.com>
Date: 03/27/2023 12:59 PM
Subject: DEP purchase of “forestry excavator”

Dear Senator Smith:

Based on DEP documents I obtained via OPRA (attached), I learned that DEP recently spent $129,000 of US Department of Defense “REPI” grant funds to purchase a “forestry excavator”.

Incredibly, the purchase was made by DEP’s “Bureau of Climate Resilience”.

Logging has no part in “climate resilience”. But DEP “carbon defense” policy under the State Forest Action Plan claims there is. This Plan and policy was recently implemented by DEP in the Pinelands wildfire plan.

It is possible that this equipment was used in the recent controversial logging of 21 acres in Glassboro WMA (see NJ Spotlight story and NJCF photo):


I question the need for DEP to have a “forestry excavator”, as that equipment can only be used to log more NJ forests. The mere possession of this logging equipment encourages more DEP logging.

I note that this equipment was purchased with federal funds, apparently thus not subject to Legislature’s appropriations process and oversight of DEP’s budget.

I urge you to conduct legislative oversight and exercise budget authority to stop DEP’s “carbon defense” policy and force the sale of this US military funded logging equipment.


Bill Wolfe

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