Thursday, June 4, 2015

NJ enviros push ballot question to reject Exxon settlement

Protesters gather outside the N State House to protest a settlement with ExxonMobil (Sara Jerde/
About 45 environmental activists on Thursday staged a Statehouse protest against the settlement between Gov. Chris Christie's administration and ExxonMobil and in favor of a constitutional amendment that would dictate how money would be spent in similar environmental litigation settlements, Sara Jerde reports today for

The measure (SCR163/ACR230), if approved, would put a motion on the ballot for voters to choose whether they would want dedicate all money from environmental damage settlements to "repair damage to, restore, or permanently protect the State's natural resources."

A bill with the same intention was vetoed by Christie following his administration's $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil for polluting at two New Jersey refinery sites, the Bayonne and Bayway facilities. Lawmakers introduced the constitutional amendments to bypass the governor's approval and put it on the ballot for the voters to decide.

"Monies from environmental litigation should go to the communities and environmental groups that have been affected," said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "Stop stealing the people's money and send it to where it belongs."

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