Red Rock Country – Skoolie Views

April 9th, 2019 No comments

Just A Climate Migrant

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Greetings from Red Rock Country – somewhere outside Sedona, from a US Forest Service Road just past Dead Man’s Pass. (I’ve since learned I’m in Diamondback Gulch and the views are of Bear Mt. and Doe Mt.)

The colors are real, and they change constantly, based on time of day (sunlight) and cloud cover. Incredibly beautiful and the stillness provides a feeling of solidity. Surprised by lack of wildlife – haven’t seen even rabbits.

Nights are cool and silent, but significant nearby ORV use during the day on weekends kept Bouy barking.

Coyotes yip and whine just after sunrise, which sets him off too.

Yesterday it was hot – over 80 I suspect – which made it uncomfortable outside in the sun. Surprisingly, the bus didn’t get that hot inside and it cooled down quickly after sunset.

We’ve been here a week – enjoying finally getting around to read “These Truths” – but are out of beer and water, so we head into town and, because it seems to be getting hot, we move on north towards Flagstaff and Coconino NF and the higher elevation and cooler lovely ponderosa pine forest.

[Update – I hear Flagstaff will get snow and cold for the next week, so we’re staying put here in Sedona.]

Consider me just a climate migrant – yes, “We’re All Okies Now”

Enjoy the views:

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Another Green Diversion

April 7th, 2019 No comments

Just as Murphy BPU About to Release Its Energy Master Plan, A New “Green Campaign”

Divide, Distract, and Divert

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To be clear at the outset to avoid any confusion about the title of this post –  this is NOT a criticism of The Green New Deal.

Just the opposite –  I strongly support a Green New Deal – and urge folks to make it a top priority, get behind that effort and do the work to build the public opinion and political power and support necessary to make it a reality.

In fact, if I could pick just 3 things to focus and work on, they would be: 1) The Sanders campaign; 2) the Green New Deal; and 3) demanding that Gov. Murphy impose a moratorium of new fossil infrastructure and that the Murphy BPU Energy Master Plan provide a technically credible and financed path with regulatory teeth to phase out fossil and mandate 100 renewables by a date certain.

With that in mind, now let me get to the topic of this post.

The Murphy Administration’s Board Of Public Utilities is about to release its draft Energy Master Plan:

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) serves as the lead agency and is tasked with the development and oversight of the State’s EMP Committee. To achieve the Governor’s ambitious energy goals, the EMP Committee is organized into five work groups. While the work groups are composed of state agency members, there will be ample public opportunity to comment through a robust stakeholder process. The first opportunity will be a series of stakeholder meetings in September. Following the meetings, the work groups will develop a draft plan and again solicit public feedback in spring 2019, with final presentation of the 2019 Energy Master Plan to Governor Murphy by June 2019.

Yet, despite this critical timing – when activists should be ramping up public engagement to pressure the administration – especially regarding priority #1 which is a demand for Gov. Murphy to impose a moratorium of new fossil infrastructure – the media and “green” activists seem to have gone mute.

No, it’s worse than mute.

Perhaps emulating the national Democrats in declaring another Presidential candidate – the NJ Greens just announced and are working on a new “NJ Green” campaign.

Great fucking timing, eh?

The corporate wing of the national Democratic Party seems to prefer to lose to Trump than to get behind a coalition of left progressives, Democratic Socialists, and the Sanders campaign.

[Update: Jut read this NY Tines story that provides more evidence of that. ~~~ end update]

So, instead of the same cynical corrupt strategy they got caught using in 2016 to sabotage Sanders, this time around they are putting up niche candidates, each seemingly designed to drive a wedge and/or peel off what should be a faction in the Sanders coalition.

That is a losing strategy.

For God’s sake, yesterday I listened to the New Yorker radio hour on NPR interview a Presidential candidate – whose rise none other than Obama had predicted – a young, unknown gay, former military, Harvard educated, charismatic, Mayor from Indiana. This guy’s flavor of the month – I mean top priority – was democratic reform. (Did I say he was young and focused “inter-generational equity”? An obvious move to peel off Sanders’  Sunrise Movement folks, and play to the reactionary resentments of libertarians like the Google Tech heads about their burdens in paying for Social Security and health care).

Today, NPR reported that Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan just announced – are there 17 or 18 now? Does that mean Biden is dropping out of the bid for chasing the so called lost white working man’s vote?

But let’s get back to the topic of this post.

Here’s the email I was just forwarded that prompted the post (not surprisingly, the “greens” who wrote it didn’t send it to me, knowing I’d probably write this harsh criticism):

Do you think it’s time that your rights to clean air, pure water, and a healthy environment are protected in the New Jersey State Constitution?

Join us for an in depth conversation about the proposed New Jersey Green Amendment, how it can help New Jerseyans, and how you can get involved in its passage.

Featured speakers:
Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper
Elliott Ruga, NJ Highlands Coalition
David Pringle, David Pringle Associates
Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club

And they are featuring speakers Eliot Ruga (a know nothing former TV technician) and Dave Pringle (a discredited and unprincipled transactionalist collaborator with Gov. Christie).

Is this new “Green Campaign” the product of a Foundation grant?

If you want context for this campaign and its likely results, look no farther than to Pennsylvania.

There, these same “green” activists won a huge State Supreme Court victory when the Court issued a decision on a constitutional question that effectively empowered local government to use land use controls to ban fracking.

So what did they do with this huge win?

They proceeded to do virtually nothing to organize a real statewide campaign to work with local government to ban fracking! But instead they focused on FERC and federal lawsuits.

Now, they do the top down opposite in NJ, and at exactly the wrong time, and with the wrong people.

How much worse can it get?

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Mingus Mountain To Sedona

April 4th, 2019 No comments

Hook In Now!

View looking east from Mingus Mountain, Prescott National Forest

View looking east from Mingus Mountain, Prescott National Forest

We spent a week in the Prescott National Forest – thankfully outside the “urban interface” – atop Mingus Mountain.

There was still patchy snow and the final stretch of the forest road was closed at the top, so we had to hike in a few miles to get to the “lake” (a 2 acre mud puddle!) and the top to the hang glider launch point. We met a nice woman and her dogs from the lovely Methodist Mountain Retreat.

We particularly enjoyed the view at the hang glider launch point – Hook In Now!

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Got bored and ran out of food, so we headed down the mountain and northeast to Jerome, an old mining town.

Several folks suggested we would enjoy and should visit Jerome, but I was not impressed. Lots of good pottery shops, but overall way too touristy for me. Bisby has a more authentic old mining character and a residue of hippies (and nearby national forest and wilderness).

We’re going in from the southwest and are now on the outskirts of Sedona – in contrast, we came in here from the northeast from Flagstaff 2 years ago. The Flagstaff – Sedona route is a more spectacular approach.

An Absolutely awesome place!!! – photos don’t begin to provide a sense of the color, the majesty, the mystery,  and the scale.

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NOTE: I had to white out about 4 mansions in the foreground.

NOTE: I had to white out about 4 mansions in the foreground.

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Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order On Regulatory Policy Raises Major New Concerns

April 3rd, 2019 No comments

Corporate economic interests at least as important as protecting public health & environment

Ask BOEING Where Regulatory “Partnerships”, “Cost-Benefit” & “Efficiency” Lead

[Updates below]

Gov. Murphy’s EO #63 is getting high praise by environmental groups. (see Part I)

Given the rhetoric and findings of the Order and the 14 serious policy flaws I identify in Part II below, I find that hard to comprehend and seriously doubt they even read it before spouting off in the press.

This is particularly disturbing not only given the effects of the Order on State government and DEP, but by the fact that the Order actually undermines a pending bill to impose mandatory restoration of and a stricter response to Trump federal rollbacks.

The Murphy Order is kind of like the Obama “all of the above” energy policy – more or less what one would expect from a former Goldman Sachs Wall Streeter and corporate Democrat Neoliberal (Gov. Murphy and his wife Tammy are illustrations of what Nancy Fraser calls “Progressive Neoliberalism“)..

I) What the Executive Order finds and says about regulatory policy objectives

Let’s start with the troubling title, which has not been reported by the press (from Gov.’s webpage)Establishing new regulatory principles to foster economic growth and government efficiency

Get that? The objectives are to “foster economic growth and government efficiency”.

The Order is equivocal, vague and – while not using right wing red meat rhetoric like “job killing red tape” and “soviet command and control” – it repeats myths about regulations, such as:

WHEREAS, ill-considered or ineffective regulation can deter progress, unduly burden businesses, hamper innovation and economic growth, and lead to stagnation, inefficiency, and inequity, while an informed and progressive approach to regulatory affairs can help avoid these shortcomings;

Murphy also embraces the “cost-benefit” utilitarian ideology of opponents of regulation, such as:

WHEREAS, as a general matter, an agency should not propose or adopt a regulation without first making a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs, with the recognition that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify;

The Order very clearly promotes economic interests and makes it DEP’s role to promote “innovation” and “balance” economic interests against science and public health and environmental protection. In contrast, the underlying environmental laws pursuant to which DEP adopts regulations clearly do not authorize any of these objectives:

WHEREAS, regulations should foster and support innovation in New Jersey’s economy, not hinder it, and so should be written in user- friendly language as often as practicable; and

WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon State government to focus on developing innovative, job-creating strategies that attract new businesses to New Jersey while retaining and growing businesses presently located within the State; and

WHEREAS, attracting and strengthening businesses may be advanced in part through regulatory measures conceived and designed to promote such goals;

I challenge the Murphy and DEP legal eagles to provide one citation in NJ environmental or administrative law that requires DEP to consider “cumulative regulatory impacts”, or requires “the least burdensome” regulatory approach, or that requires DEP to consider technological innovation, or attraction of investment, or attraction of new or retention of existing business. Just one. Come on Matt, just one. You did Stanford law school. Yes, some federal laws do include some of these, but no NJ laws do. The fact that economic concepts and federal regulatory principles were injected into Gov. Murphy’s EO just reveals the background of Murphy’s Chief Counsel. It is likely that Matt’s work with Brookings was the source of the economic theory (e.g. distributed impacts, co-benefits, attraction of investment, technological innovation, et al are longtime Brookings Mantras). Assume they are basic Stanford Econ. 101 and Poli-Sci courses on “public choice theory”, both examples of Neoliberal ideology they pour into your head at the elite University. And Matt’s work for Senator Booker likely brought him into contact with “least burdensome” (TSCA 2605) regulatory frameworks. Too bad he missed the science and concepts of cumulative and synergistic health effects and failed to write them into EO #63. Revealing, no? Industry gets protection from cumulative regulatory impacts, but people do not get protection form cumulative corporate chemical assets? And how more clueless, shameless and discredited can you get than for Murphy’s Chief Counsel to brag about working on the 2008 Wall Street bailout? Really!

[Update: there  also are NJ state laws (e.g. NJ Safe Drinking Water Act), and many federal laws that do not allow consideration of costs, e.g. Clean Air Act Section 112 Hazardous Air Pollutant provisions and another TSCA provision:

(f) DEFINITION.—For the purposes of subsection (a), the term ‘‘imminently hazardous chemical substance or mixture’’ means a chemical substance or mixture which presents an imminent and unreasonable risk of serious or widespread injury to health or the environment, without consideration of costs or other nonrisk factors.

[Note: and beware of magical beliefs in “innovation” and “technology” as superior to government mandates –

“But here’s the key,” he continued. “We as a country have reduced our carbon footprint by almost 20 percent from the year 2000 to 2014. You know how? Through innovation and technology, not government mandate.” ~~~ Scott Pruitt, disgraced Trump EPA Administrator

Gov. Murphy regurgitates the longtime spin of the business community, about “efficiency”, “streamlining” and “access” to government (which are code for “get government off the back of the business community” and providing even MORE backroom access and undue influence on government):

WHEREAS, even as our administration promotes policy approaches that inform the development and broaden the impact of regulatory actions, we should also strive to identify ways to maximize regulatory efficiency by simplifying and streamlining the public’s ease of access to the machinery of government and to enhance the ability of regulated communities to communicate and interact with the regulatory agencies that oversee their actions, professions, occupations, and endeavors;

These are not mere rhetorical sops to the business community, but important policy statements that reveal Gov. Murphy’s  strong pro-economic bias and anti-regulatory ideology.

They also generate expectations in the business community – consider their support: (NJ Spotlight)

[Dennis Hart of the NJ Chemistry Council] was encouraged by a commitment to look at why the regulatory process is so long and costs so much more than other states.

“If this new executive order leads to discussions and positive impacts on streamlining the regulatory and permit program and reducing the fees and costs of doing business in New Jersey, we fully support it and are ready to start working on those issues right now,’’ he said.

While regurgitating extensive pro-business anti-regulatory rhetoric, Gov. Murphy fails to note that Gov. Christie’ EO#2’s explicit policy objective was to provide “regulatory relief”:

For immediate relief from regulatory burdens, State agencies shall:

Gov. Murphy’s failure to engage, challenge and reject that Christie “regulatory relief” policy speaks volumes.

So is the failure to mention the abundant academic public policy literature about potential abuses of regulatory capture, conflicts of interest, self dealing, scientific integrity, bias, or self-certification, outsourcing and privatization. Ask Boeing about all that.

The Gov. also mischaracterizes as merely creating a “perception”  – a sham term that clearly downplays the “federal consistency” policy of Christie’s EO#2, which was based on a federal consistency policy originally announced in former Gov. Whitman’s 1994 “Open or Business” policy in Excutive Order #27. Murphy wrote:

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 2 (2010) created the perception that going beyond federal standards is undesirable through its directive that agencies “shall . . . not exceed the requirements of federal law” unless required by state statute or where necessary to achieve a state-specific public policy goal;

Perception my ass – that federal consistency policy resulted in a tremendous rollback of NJ specific stringent standards in favor of federal minimums, including virtually the DEP’s entire clean air and clean water and hazardous waste management programs.

II)  What the Executive Order established in policy and actually does

Gov. Murphy’s EO#63 rescinds Christie’s EO#1 and EO#2.

First of all, for context, Gov. Christie issued his regulatory policy EO’s#1 (moratorium), EO#2 and EO#3 (Red Tape Commission) and EO#4 (state mandate/state pay – State should defer to local government) in the first hour of his first day in office.

In contrast, it took Gov.Murphy over 1 year and 62 prior Executive Orders to get around to correcting and rescinding this important policy matter. That delay does not reflect a priority.

Second, there was no need for Gov. Murphy to rescind EO#1 (moratorium) as that was limited to just 90 days and it expired more than 9 years ago.

The effect of repealing EO#1 creates a false and exaggerated scope of action by Gov. Murphy, especially considering that he did not rescind Christie’s EO#3 (Red Tape) and EO#4 (local government).

That keeps both of those horrible Orders legally in effect and serves to reinforce their policies that consider regulation “excessive red tape” and defer to local government over state responsibilities.

Third, Murphy repeats the Christie slogan of “common sense”.

Consistent with applicable law, State entities shall strive to pursue the creation of a regulatory environment designed to support innovation, remove bottlenecks, and streamline interaction with the government, while supporting strong environmental, health, safety, and labor standards, by focusing on the following overarching, common sense goals

That term originated in current public policy circles not from Tom Paine, but via a right wing libertarian attack on government back in the 1980’s. (citation forthcoming).

Fourth, the Murphy EO – contrary to false favorable news reports does not automatically reject, restore, or mandate that DEP and other NJ government agencies resist regulatory rollbacks by the Trump administration.

In fact, Murphy merely equivocally suggests that State agencies “should evaluate actions NJ might take”

When the federal government repeals or rolls back prior protections for public health, welfare, safety, or the environment, State entities should evaluate actions New Jersey might take to restore those protections at the state level and, when appropriate and authorized by law, act to fill the void left at the federal level.

This is weak language and it conflicts with and undermines pending legislation (A5033) that would force state agencies to reject Trump rollbacks. For example, see this far stronger language in the bill:

the commissioner shall, notwithstanding the provisions of  the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1  et seq.), immediately upon filing proper notice with the Office of Administrative Law, adopt rules and regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to ensure the protection of that endangered species pursuant to this act. ….

In the event of amendments or supplements to the federal Clean Air Act or the federal regulations adopted pursuant thereto that are less stringent than those in effect on January 19, 2017, the department shall, notwithstanding the provisions of the  “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et  seq.), immediately upon filing proper notice with the Office of Administrative Law, adopt such rules and regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to ensure that the rules any regulations adopted pursuant to this section in effect at the time of the federal changes are not weakened.

The bill has the same mandates for Trump rollbacks of federal Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act protections. 

Accordingly, via EO#63, Gov. Murphy has undermined and weakened and likely derailed stricter and more protective pending legislation.

Fifth, Gov. Murphy echoes Christie’s slogan about “regulatory burden” and mandates the “least burdensome” approach. This makes it harder for DEP to adopt new rules and easier for industry to challenge them:

State entities should identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools and approaches to achieve their regulatory goals.

Sixth, the Gov. directs “partnerships” with the public and the regulated community. This misconceives of DEP’s regulatory role – just look at the Boeing disaster for where “partnerships” lead:

State entities should engage with affected communities, and provide opportunities for various groups to work in partnership with the State in crafting solutions.

Seventh, Gov. Murphy mouths the platitude of “Stakeholder” involvement, without specific restrictions such as balance, diversity, representativeness, ethics, scientific integrity and prohibitions on conflicts of interest.

This is a HUGE omission and failure given the Christie “Stakeholder” approach (and back door regulatory lobbying via the Science Advisory Board), which were dominated by industry representatives who engaged in self dealing in ways that were riddled with conflicts of interest:

The means selected should be tailored to enable the State entity to accomplish its regulatory goals. Where a proposed rule is new, or makes significant and/or expansive changes to existing rules, the benefit from extensive stakeholder outreach will be greater.

Ask DEP about how this “stakeholder outreach” worked out in their recent bear hunt secrecy proposal. Notably, the Order conveniently becomes effective on June 1, 2019, after the date of that proposal.

Eighth, Gov. Murphy leaves to the very end an endorsement of the extremely controversial, scientifically unjustified, legally suspect, and unethical practices of balancing private industry costs and public benefits.

When assessing the impacts of a rule pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30–5.1, including the economic impacts and the social impacts, State entities shall include a comparison of the proposed benefit to the public with the anticipated burden to the public.

Again, not only is such an approach not authorized in legislation, such a biased “principle” makes it harder for DEP to adopt new rules and easier for industry to challenge them.

Ninth, Gov. Murphy pays lip service to environmental justice.

The EJ provisions of the Order are not mandatory, but voluntary.

Worse, there are no criteria or standards or remedies included to allow implementation and enforcement of this purely voluntary, vague, and aspirational “principle”:

State entities should give due consideration to “Environmental Justice,” meaning that in conceiving and fashioning proposed regulations, State entities should identify and address, as appropriate and practicable, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of the program, policy, or activity on minority and low-income populations

Just like the Trump rollback legislation, “should” in the EO is voluntary while “shall” in the bill is mandatory.

Tenth, Gov. Murphy invents an entirely new “principle” – one that has long been sought by business and industry who complain of over-regulation by DEP.

The principle is “cumulative impact”.

But the “cumulative impact” has nothing to do with the cumulate environmental and public health impacts, a concept that is in current law but not enforced (e.g. CAFRA Section 10, Highlands Act, CWA TMDL, et al) and long sought by environmental groups. For example, here is the TSCA standard:

The health and environmental effects for which standards for the development of test data may be prescribed include carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, teratogenesis, behavioral disorders, cumulative or synergistic effects, and any other effect which may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. The characteristics of chemical substances and mixtures for which such standards may be prescribed include persistence, acute toxicity, subacute toxicity, chornic toxicity, and any other characteristic which may present such a risk.

The Order has nothing to do with the cumulative impact risks of multiple toxic pollutants and multiple exposure pathways.

The cumulative impact DEP must consider is the cumulative impact of REGULATIONS on business, not the cumulative impacts of development or pollution on people’s health!

State entities should take into account the cumulative impact of their regulations. Each State entity should determine how best to identify and evaluate such impacts in the context of its particular work.

Eleventh, Gov. Murphy echoes Gov. Christie’s EO#2s anti-regulatory slogan about the need to minimize “regulatory burden”

To carry out the goals set forth in Section 2, State entities should consider how best to foster innovation in the economy and to minimize regulatory burdens, which may include but is not limited to:

Finally, Gov. Murphy misconstrues DEP’s role as assisting regulated industry and undermines traditional DEP regulatory enforcement policy by stressing the need for “compliance assistance”.

This revives and borders on the controversial, failed, and discredited policy known as self disclosure immunity:

When possible and appropriate, State entities should provide education about the rules and means of compliance, and should establish channels to enable members of the affected and regulated communities to make compliance inquiries without increasing their exposure to enforcement. A State entity’s response to regulatory noncompliance should be proportional to the circumstances

Given these major flaws, my conclusion is that Gov.  Murphy’s EO#63 is as bad or worse than the Christie EO’s it rescinded.

[Update – oops, I missed this one on page 8

It creates an affirmative requirement to consider “alternatives to direct regulation”. This can only discourage and erect additional barriers to necessary regulation.

Just ask Boeing about that, e.g. self-certification and outsourcing are alternatives to direct regulation!

Considering practicable and beneficial alternatives to direct regulation, through means such as targeted incentives encouraging desired activity, to the extent permitted by law.

And this one, which benefits the regulated community and not the public regarding assistance in enforcing complex DEP regulations. This says NOTHING about providing this same information to the PUBLIC!

To the extent permitted by law and to the extent practicable and beneficial, State entities should work together to eliminate conflicting rules and coordinate efforts into a unified response, which could include agreeing on one State entity to serve as lead agency so that regulated entities and applicants can receive timely, consistent, and informed answers to inquiries.

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Gov. Murphy Revokes Christie Executive Order On Regulatory Policy

April 3rd, 2019 No comments

But Murphy Replacement Order Raises Major New Concerns

A Sad Tale of Amnesia, Journalistic Malpractice, and Opportunism

Before I get to the substance of Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order #63, let me first say 2 political things that need to be said.

I’ll write this story in 2 parts – consider the below part 1. (see Part II, now posted)

First of all, the hypocrisy of Clean Water Action (formerly the NJ Environmental Federation) cheerleading the Murphy repeal of Christie’s Ex. Order #2 is stunning.

They and the rest of the NJ media have amnesia.

They seem to have forgotten that CWA/NJEF ENDORSED Christie in 2009 and in early 2010, they PRAISED and provided cover for Christie’s Executive Orders #1-#4, including EO#2 that Gov. Murphy just repealed.

And they did so not once, but in multiple news stories by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Asbury Park Press.

In disgust, I documented all that at the time, see: Hal Bozarth and Dave Pringle – Perfect Together!

Here’s an excerpt from the Philadelphia Inquirer story on Christie’s Executive Orders:

Kudos and caution greet Christie’s business boost – Backers cheer changes that let firms weigh in early on new rules. Some environmentalists worry (by Adrienne Lu  on 2/14/10)

True to promise, in his first few weeks on the job, Gov. Christie has tilted the playing field in favor of business in New Jersey.

Through executive orders, he has upended the way regulations are created, giving his administration broad power to block rules it doesn’t like and allowing businesses to weigh in early in the process.

The business community is thrilled, while environmental advocates worry the economy will be used as a cover to dismantle longtime protections.

Christie is “saying that the state has to reform and redo its regulatory process so that it’s no longer a disincentive for new investment,” said Hal Bozarth, executive director of the Chemistry Council of New Jersey. “That’s frankly the first time in my long tenure that I’ve heard those things.” […]

Dave Pringle, campaign director of the New Jersey Environmental Foundation, which endorsed Christie, was the sole representative of environmental advocacy groups on the DEP transition team. While he disagreed with the tone of the report, Pringle said it contained many ideas his group supported, including prioritizing science over political considerations.

WTF? Pringle actually claimed that EO#2 would result in “prioritizing science over political considerations”?

The Christie DEP under Bob Martin was notoriously political and incompetent and attacked and suppressed science, for 8 long years. 

Here’s how I criticized that at the time (back in February 2010):

… 3) the legal standards in EO 2 elevate costs to at least an equal stature as science, thus undermining the science. I believe this violates underlying federal and state environmental laws that do not authorize DEP to consider costs;

4) In a Star Ledger interview, DEP Commissioner nominee Bob Martin said he supports “cost/benefit analysis, a tool often used by industry expressly to trump science. Martin also supported industry reps on the Science Advisory Board – 3 Dupont scientists have been nominated, as well as 3 other private sector consultants – of 12. So much for objective science.

Here’s more CWA/NJEF lies, from Todd Bates’s Asbury Park Press coverage:

In a November 24 post, I pointed that out that contradiction, by quoting the following text from the APP story:

David Pringle, campaign director for the New Jersey Environmental Federation, said “the state has a lot of inefficiencies and overlapping and conflicting rules, and there’s plenty of things that have absolutely no impact on environmental and public health protection.”

But flat out contradicting Pringle’s spin, the APP reports on just some of the DEP environmental rules that would be impacted (for a full list, see this post).

Pringle also said this to support the EO#1 moratorium:

This process [i.e. the moratorium, Red Tape Review Group, cost/benefit analysis, and new federal standards policy of Gov. Christie’s Executive Orders 1-3] could just enable them to have a better understanding of what they’re getting themselves in to.” Dave Pringle, NJN TV, 3/12/10.

Have Amy Goldsmith and Tom Johnson forgotten all that?

Second, NJ Spotlight reporter Tom Johnson clearly knows all this.

But he not only chose to ignore it, but, worse, he gave CWA/NJEF a platform to escape accountability and at the same time appear to take credit for influencing Gov. Murphy.

That is remarkable journalistic malpractice.

And just as remarkably, despite being recently called out for it, Tom Johnson doubled down on the revolving door abuses and quoted not only Ray Cantor but also Dennis Hart, who also is a former high level DEP official and another example of revolving door abuse.

This is shameful.

Part 2 coming soon – no soundbites: what the Murphy Executive Order actually says and will result in.

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