Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Former NJ Gov. raps current NJ Gov. on RGGI pullout

Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean

Former Republican Gov. Thomas Kean told an audience at a Rutgers University conference yesterday that he  thought it was "a shame" that fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie pulled New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  [The right and left debate RGGI in New Jersey]. 

From today's NJ Spotlight's report on the climate-change conference:
Former Republican Gov. Thomas Kean is such a believer in climate change that he is calling on informed citizens to "confront those who don't believe in the science of it for the ignorant people that they are."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Speaking before a Rutgers University conference in New Brunswick Tuesday, Kean criticized fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie, saying it was a "shame" that he pulled New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Christie's decision to pull out of RGGI was highly controversial and was especially disappointing to its backers, who hoped the regional initiative would serve as a successful prototype for a national effort to combat global climate change. 
His decision also has been criticized by Democrats in the legislature who have sought to enact bills to maintain New Jersey's participation in the program, most often without any Republican backing.

When Christie announced his decision to withdraw from the program this past summer, he conceded manmade activities were contributing to global warming, but dismissed the regional initiative as ineffective and merely a tax on consumers.

Former Gov. James Florio, however, said "we ought to be asking what it's going to cost if we don't do something."

The state's liberal political blog, Blue Jersey, which rarely misses an opportunity to criticize Mr. Christie, offered this perspective:
It is a sad measure of the lack of influence of Gov. Kean, a hugely popular figure in New Jersey politics, on today's Republican Party that not one of the over 40 Republicans in the Legislature - who are led, in part, by his son - will stand up to Christie the way that Kean did yesterday.

As the event pointed out, it is ultimately our farmers, shore communities, and tourism industry that will pay the price of state and national inaction on climate change.

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