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Governor Christie: New Jersey’s Future Is Green

Governor Christie: New Jersey’s Future Is Green
Today, Governor Christie discussed why RGGI isn’t working to help reduce C02 emissions and why we need renewable energy strategies to lead New Jersey into a Green future. May 26, 2011. (Transcript Below)

“First, a couple of preliminary things. In the past I’ve always said that climate change is real and it’s impacting our state. There’s undeniable data that CO2 levels and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing. This decade average temperatures have been rising, temperature changes are affecting weather patterns and our climate. In order to best deal with climate change we have to understand its causes. That was the root of the question that I was asking at the time of my town hall meetings and it’s gotten a lot of attention. So in the last number of months since that time I’ve taken some time to develop a better understanding of the role that humans play in global warming and what impact human activity has on our climate. The last few months I’ve sat down with experts both inside the government and outside the administration in academia and other places, to discuss the issue in depth. I’ve also done some reading on my own on the topic as well. I’m certainly not a scientist which is the first problem. So I can’t claim to fully understand all of this. Certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90% of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it’s time to defer to the experts. Climate science is complex though and we’re just beginning to have a fuller understanding of humans’ role in all of this. But we know enough to know that we are at least a part of the problem. So looking forward, we need to work to put policies in place that act at reducing those contributing factors.
Now, after extensive review with the DEP and others in my administration, our analysis of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI reveals that this program is not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future.
First, RGGI allowances were never expensive enough to change behavior as they were intended to and ultimately fuel different choices. When RGGI began the industry projected that the cost of allowances would eventually be as high as twenty to thirty dollars a ton compared to the current price of less than per ton, at which point the cost would have been sufficient to affect a decision of energy producers to choose lower carbon fuels or more efficient production technologies. This is not the case. It has not happened. Trends indicate the cost of the allowance will continue to be at the floor reserve price and there will be no significant secondary market for allowances. In other words, the whole system is not working as it was intended to work. It’s a failure.
Second, New Jersey’s carbon emissions from a report the DEP will release today are already below the goals for 2020 set out in New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act, the legislation that permitted the state to participate in RGGI. According to this most recent report which was conducted before RGGI was implemented, greenhouse gas emissions are down in New Jersey. Reduced emissions have been due to increased use of natural gas, and the decreased use of coal. We’re seeing that the market and not RGGI has created incentives to reduce the use of carbon-based fuels.
Third, given that we now have laws that provide significant market incentives for wind, solar, and instate natural gas generation, any benefits that the RGGI tax may have had are miniscule. In fact fourteen laws have been passed since the Global Warming Response Act was passed authorizing us to join RGGI. These fourteen laws all accomplish the goals of promoting clean energy without the need to participate in RGGI at all. RGGI has not changed behavior and it does not reduce emissions. We’re looking for broader results that benefit all ratepayers and all citizens.
Finally and importantly, RGGI does nothing more than tax electricity, tax our citizens, tax our businesses, with no discernable or measurable impact upon our environment. Because states such as Pennsylvania are not RGGI members it’s just possible that by making the cap too stringent clean New Jersey plants would be forced to close only to be replaced by power from dirty Pennsylvania coal plants. It doesn’t make any sense environmentally or economically and the continuation of this tax makes no sense for my efforts and the Lieutenant Governor’s continued efforts to make New Jersey a more business-friendly environment and a place where private sector jobs can continue to be created.
So, we will withdraw from RGGI in an orderly fashion by year’s end…”


  • Show Comments (25)

  • robsatease

    Christie is good for NJ …bad for the USA ..wouldnt consider him for national anything

  • thane17

    Christie got punked. CO2 is pumped into greenhouses to increase yields. Higher CO2 levels should be embraced. Oh well, as long as he doesn’t go for a national position. He’s doing good on Jersey’s financial situation.

  • mcoop221

    Bullshit Christie!!! Don’t believe that 90% figure.

  • greenman3610

    Maybe he decided to get his science from someone besides Glenn Beck?
    Let me re-orient you.
    Saddam did not attack us.
    There were no WMDs.
    Obama was not born in Kenya.
    Climate Change is real.

    you’re welcome.

  • Philip Sington

    Good for Governor Christie. He took the time to find out about this issue for himself, rather than relying on political commentators and lobbyists. The GOP needs more candidates like him; and I wish him well.
    The future habitability of our one and only planet, and its ability to sustain 6or 7 billion people, is too big an issue to become party political, as it has largely become in the US, Canada and Australia. Like peace and war, it should cut across regular political divides.

  • Sissy Brooks

    Except for the fact that most of it is extrapolation. Where do they come up with “humans play a role?”, and how many people starve as a result of screwed up policies reacting to a flawed belief. It’s just goofy, and the so-called rememdies, such as these LED bulbs turn out to be more dangerous than the regular ones. It’s all hype. Get a grip. The humans are not causing vocanoes, and tsunamis which cause more climate change in one day than humans have since we got here. Duh.

  • greenman3610

    jeez, what sorehead.
    I’m just trying to help. Fox news syndrome is tragic, but not incurable.

  • robrigo80

    The problem is that science doesnt work on concensus. Some of the greatest scientific accomplishments of all time came about because a few men challenged the concensus. Theory of Relativity was groundbreaking because Einstein didn’t follow what the majority of physicists thought was true.

  • Andrew Middleton

    @robrigo80 Einstein did two things to solidify his name’s synonymity with genius, he presented a new theory that challenged the existing state of physics and presented adequate evidence to convince almost the entire physics community that their understanding of the universe was incomplete using credible evidence and exhaustive research. Twice. That’s why he got the Nobel prize and not the “renegade scientist” advertising the End of Times on the street. You have to be right as well as different.

  • Mike Specian

    Chris Christie’s got guts, I’ll give him that. Most other Republicans wouldn’t have the courage to buck the party line to acknowledge the veracity of climate change. Later in the speech, though, he backtracks from taking serious action to address the problem, and for that he deserves criticism.

  • Mike Specian

    @robrigo80 As a scientist myself, I think you may be a little confused about the scientific method. Scientists study issues in depth, build models and explanations, and use them to make predictions. Models with predictive powers are favored, while others are discarded. It’s an iterative process.

    Once scientific ideas become a paradigm, they change very infrequently. Einstein wasn’t “challenging concensus.” He solved a problem no one else was able to. It’s really not analogous to climate change.

  • quinni24

    you can probably power half the state with the ‘wind tunnels’ they have in Jersey City….enough wind to turn anyone into Mary Poppins.

  • markjerno

    Climate change, real or not, I don’t know. What I do know is that industry treating the atmosphere as a dumping ground for carbon and other materials is wrong and should be reduced and minimized. I support the governor on his environmental efforts.

  • galorize12rt

    Just more proof Ann Coulter is a Jew Hating Phony Conservative. Coulter takes money from Gays who want Gay Marriage in the Republican Party and speaks at there events and yet says she is a conservative. Many people realized a long time ago Coulter was a fraud. Coulter was the one that wanted Chris Christie who has not filed a law suit against Obamacare to run for President. I will say one thing for Chris, he is better then Obama but the one R that should run is Paul Ryan, P.R. is a conserv.

  • galorize12rt

    Paul RyaN is a conservative. Bachmann’s church hates Catholics, Rick Santorium wanted to take away college free speech rights years ago, Rick Perry won’t stand up for Texas and is scared of Homeland Security which is why he told his Lt Governer to stop the TSA Groping bill, Romney is a George Bush Universal Health Care Republican, Herman Cain worked for the Fed, Republicans stink. 3rd party or tea party. Republicans promised us a FREE INTERNET AND LIED.

  • galorize12rt

    The online piracy bill act supported by Orin Hatch R Utah and Chuck Grassley R Iowa would stop Conservative and Progressive websites from linking stories on there websites and would have the Justice Department who won’t charge the black panthers with Voter Intimidation and Homeland Security who won’t seal off are borders to shut down any website they want without judicial cause. The Leon Trosky Communists are trying to silence FREE SPEECH. TEA PARTY MUST BECOME A THIRD PARTY IN 2012.

  • stinam pierson

    Natural gas still has 50% of the carbon emissions as coal. Coal keeps us free and NJ is basically a commuter state and foundational jobs will continue to leave that state. Christie is not a viable national candidate. I can’t believe he drank this kool-aid!

  • tyu3456

    @davidhudman Yeah let’s just keep building coal plants as our energy need grows and grows. You know what country has continuously relied on coal plants for their huge population? China! Have you ever been to Beijing? The whole city smells like burnt fuels, and you’re lucky if you get a glimpse of the sun on a given day. EVEN if you don’t believe global warming, you should know that pollution is real, and it has consequences on both the environment and your own health. Coal is not the answer.

  • J. Barnes

    undeniable crap,made up numbers by fake scientists,you have broken my heart and now are a champion for the environmentalist nut jobs

  • J. Barnes

    What about all of the thousands of jets in the sky? That is my sky so tell your socialist/Godlike friends to quit screwing with the environment

  • Art Laurenti

    We final have a Governor who knows what he is doing in this state and does not
    let special interest groups to decide what is good for New Jerseians.

  • LordScotty Rod

    Climate change IS complex Chris.. & it’s also CORRUPT.. When Scientists are paid BILLIONS of dollars with the intent on finding a connection to Global Climate Change & Human activities… SIMPLY for the reason of getting CAP & TRADE aka Cap & Tax passed into law… which will make Al Gore, George Soros , & many others.. TRILLIONAIRES !!! Bottom Line… FUCK THAT !!!!!

  • LordScotty Rod

    This video… has made me sick to my stomach… I’ve been pushing & pushing & Pushing Chris Christie to run for the Presidency.. & NOW.. I don’t want this fuckin dumb fuck any where NEAR the White House… FUUUUUUUCK !!!!!

  • Lee Frazer

    Excuse me, but since when did climate scientists start making billions of dollars? The only kinds of scientists making that kind of money (or something close to it) are working for petroleum companies, not universities and independent research centers – which are conducting the bulk of climate change research.

  • LizzyxDarcy

    I would say, don’t trust this man…

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