Asked by Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Maddie Hanna about Gov. Chris Christie’s environmental record, Administration spokesman Kevin Roberts said Christie had
”restored funding for beach replenishment, opposed offshore drilling, authorized loans for water and sewer projects, and pledged to bar any new coal-fired power plants, among other actions.”
On the other side of the green ledger, environmental groups charge him with withdrawing New Jersey from RGGI, a regional cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions and generate funds for energy conservation and savings, failing to act on climate change, tapping the brakes on the development of offshore wind energy, and failing to restore the Barnegat Bay ecosystem, among other things.
Environmentalists accuse Christie of seeking to weaken the DEP, noting s decline in enforcement actions. Penalties collected have fallen since Christie took office, from more than $13 million a year in 2008 to $4.9 million in 2014.
DEP officials counter with the argument that their ‘more persona and proactive approach’ of working directly with businesses to find a way to approve permits and projects while still safeguarding the environment has resulted in an environmental compliance rate that has climbed from 74.2 percent in 2006 to 81.7 percent in 2004
And so it goes. Like environmental tennis, the serves and returns go back and forth.
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