Trenton, NJ: Now that Governor Christie has delivered his State of the State address, he has not only failed to mention all of the damage he has done, but did not even mention some of the state’s serious issues. While our Governor has rolled back protections for the environment, he has threatened clean water and open space, while increasing New Jersey’s impact on climate change. When you look at his record, he is clearly the worst governor for the environment in state history. All he really has to boast about is the damage to the environment he has done since he’s been in office. Jeff Tittel, Director of New Jersey Sierra Club released the following statement:

“Governor Christie’s speech was not a ‘State of the State’ because he had no vision for the state. The Governor only focused on one single issue, while failing to offer any solutions to the many problems we face like the environment, climate change, and lead in our drinking water. Not only did he fail to address our state’s problems, but he spent most of his time spinning and bragging about what a great job he has done. What our Governor didn’t mention is that for the past seven years he has attempted to roll back environmental protections and ruined our economy. While Christie has given out tax cuts to billionaires and billions of dollars in corporate subsidies, jobs are leaving our state, and children are drinking lead poisoned water in our schools. By rolling back environmental protections, increasing development in environmentally sensitive areas, and pushing through damaging pipelines, our Governor has threatened our water supply. Christie even prided himself on giving out more tax cuts for the wealthy, while cutting back on programs that benefit the middle class. At the same time he has stolen millions of dollars from environmental settlements, which has robbed the people living in communities impacted from pollution. Instead of giving a ‘State of the State’ address, the Governor should have just declare an Environmental Disaster.”

Christie’s State of Disaster                             

The New Jersey Sierra Club joined a coalition of groups today for a press conference before Governor Christie delivers his State of the State report. While our Governor has rolled back protections for the environment, he has threatened clean water and open space, while increasing New Jersey’s impact on climate change. When you look at his record, he is clearly the worst governor for the environment in state history. All he really has to boast about is the damage to the environment he has done since he’s been in office. Jeff Tittel, Director of New Jersey Sierra Club released the following statement:

“Governor Christie’s address is not a ‘State of the State’ speech it is a State of Disaster. Under Christie’s watch, the New Jersey state government is broke and broken. While Christie has given out tax cuts to billionaires and given out billions of dollars in corporate subsidies, jobs are leaving our state, and children are drinking lead poisoned water in our schools. Our Governor is clearly more concerned with his national political ambitions over the people of New Jersey. In fact, he has been out of state most of last year, because he is more interested in promoting himself than taking care of the people of New Jersey.”

“Our Governor has sacrificed New Jersey’s environment by attempting to roll back 40 years of environmental protections, while he’s been focused on himself and national office. At the same time, people are still homeless from Hurricane Sandy and those living at the shore are more vulnerable to the next storm because Christie denies climate change. While our parks are falling apart, we are in a drought, and our Governor has not updated the Water Supply Master Plan, or increased standards for toxic chemicals. Just last week, we lost a $47 million grant from the Department of Energy, to install 6 offshore wind turbines 2.8 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, but Christie rejected it as part of his dirty fuel energy strategy and killed the Fisherman’s Energy project. Christie even slashed the DEP staff by 40 percent, while cutting environmental programs by 1/3. After seven years of destruction in New Jersey, it is not a surprise that Christie one of the lowest rated Governors in state history.”

“Since the election, the Governor has been trying to leave New Jersey and get Trump to give him a big appointment in his Administration. Now that we have Christie for another year, he can still do a lot of damage. We have to continue to fight back like we have done with the Exxon Settlement. Even though Christie settled a more than $9-billion-dollar sweetheart deal to Exxon instead of making them clean up their contamination throughout New Jersey, Sierra Club and others are still fighting the deal in Court.”

“While Governor Christie has pushed pipelines, Governor Cuomo has blocked the Constitution Pipeline. Governor Cuomo vetoed the liquefied natural gas export facility off of Sandy Hook, but Christie has vetoed the frack waste ban. Governor Cuomo even  closed down the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, while Governor Christie has settled deals to keep our nuclear plants open. While Cuomo expanded the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative, our Governor has took us out loosing us 1,800 jobs. The Governor is even trying to push through the South Jersey Gas pipeline in the Pinelands for the third time even though four former Governor’s opposed it.”

“The Christie Administration has attacked clean water to protect developers and special interests, but people are fighting back. The rollbacks in the Flood Hazard rules allow for less protections of waterways and more development in environmentally sensitive areas. Then the Administration targeted the most environmentally sensitive Forest Preservation Area that helps protect our drinking water based on arbitrary science with the Highlands Septic rule. This is the area that contains the mountains above our reservoirs and water supply intakes, but with these rules development will be increased by 400 percent. This rule will threaten the drinking water for over 6 million people. The legislature even came out against these attacks on clean water with a resolution against them and we need them to do it again to overturn these terrible rules.”

“The book deal is a symbol of that people tired of Christie. People have been so outraged that they stood up to the Governor when he tried to pass his dirty book deal that would have given him a big tax break and the ability to make money at the expense of the people of New Jersey. They also stood up against his plan to privatize Liberty State Park because it showed the Governor was clearly taking care of himself instead of fixing the problems in the state. The legislature must continue to block Christie. By not passing the bill to get rid of public notification and weaken the press, the Legislature gave a major victory to the people of New Jersey and freedom of the press. The Legislature also passed a resolution for funds to be dedicated from environmental settlements so future Governors cannot steal the money to plug holes in the budget.”

“During Christie’s address, he will use his bluff and bluster to say what a great job he has done, while he has been a failed Governor and has failed our state. In the year ahead, we expect Governor Christie to double-down, and bully his way to pass through more dirty deals. Our Governor is worst governor in state history environment and may even be overall in New Jersey. Governor Byrne is known for the Pinelands Protections Act, Governor Whitman, for protecting open space, and Governor Kean for the Wetlands Law, and the list goes on. Governor Christie’s legacy may actually be undoing the environmental legacy of other governors. Christie may only have a little more than a year left in New Jersey, but the damage of rolling back environmental protections, undercutting jobs, and making us more vulnerable to the next storm will live on for decades.”