NJ POLITICS: Now Murphy Vows to Reduce Pollution in EJ neighborhoods, Be a Climate Gamechanger
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Newark, NJ -- Clean Water Action officially endorsed Governor Phil Murphy for re-election today at the same site it announced its endorsement of then candidate Murphy four years ago. It was not just that he had made and kept promises on climate and environmental justice. He’s also here today to publicly vow to rev up his plans to reduce pollution more and faster than currently planned especially in overburdened communities including a pledge to eliminate dirty diesel vehicles and equipment with zero emission alternatives.
Gloucestercitynews.net graphic files
"The Garden State is waking up to the reality of today’s climate and environmental injustices. This is not a new revelation to the Governor. He is spot on when he says that we can't do too much, too soon, too fast and facts matter. With climate change accelerating faster than predicted, 2030 is the new 2050 — we must continually up our game,” stated Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action. “The climate emergency and pollution burdens are now and state leadership matters. Governor Murphy is in a great position to get the job done. He’s kept his promise to protect environmental justice neighborhoods from harm and is committed to doing even more now."
“From enacting the nation’s strongest environmental justice law to accelerating the removal of lead service lines, Clean Water Action has stood shoulder to shoulder with us since day one,” said Governor Murphy. “Together, we’re committed to protecting overburdened communities from pollutants and building a stronger, fairer, and more sustainable future for all. I’m honored to have earned this endorsement, and look forward to building on our progress.”
In Tuesday night’s debate, Murphy said “we have to go as fast as we can and we will” with regard to his 100% clean energy plan, growing the economy and prioritizing environmental justice. In contrast, Murphy’s opponent, Jack Ciattarelli, following in the footsteps of the Trump and Christie Administrations, said Governor Murphy’s clean energy goals are “not realistic -- it’s too much, too soon, too fast”. Ciattarelli supports “accelerating toward natural gas not away from it” and “celebrates” fracking, policies that have caused and exacerbated the climate crisis that’s literally killing people, destroying property, and undermining our economy.
“For too long, the children in our environmental justice communities, including the kids right here in Newark, have borne the costs of lead in our tap water and polluting industries concentrated in our neighborhoods. By championing the nation’s strongest environmental justice and lead service line laws, Governor Murphy has given everyone in this city a voice to oppose polluting projects that poison our air and water,” stated Kim Gaddy, a Newark resident and Clean Water Action’s Environmental Justice Director. “Clean Water Action is supporting Governor Murphy for re-election so that we can continue to fight for Kids Clean Air and Zero Emission Zones and a livable climate future.”
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka added that "Newark has nearly completed replacing all the 23,000-plus lead service lines in the City in 27 months, which is unprecedented in the nation. Governor Murphy’s leadership and commitment to environmental justice for Black and Brown communities such as Newark, helped make our project a success. The governor has championed a series of clean water bills, including the nation’s most aggressive law to replace lead service lines, to urge other municipalities to do what we’ve done.”
In addition to progress towards environmental justice, getting the lead out, and a 100% clean energy economy by 2050, especially noteworthy Murphy environmental accomplishments cited include:
- Championing precedent setting laws that ban single use plastic bags, better manage food waste, and offer car buyers rebates and mandates NJ Transit to go electric
- Opposition to climate wrecking fossil fuel projects including the PennEast (defeated earlier this week) and NESE gas pipelines as well as proposed frack gas power plants in the Meadowlands
- National leader on offshore wind -- 7500 MW and billions of dollars of economic development
- Banning all facets of fracking in the Delaware Basin
Unfinished business and new initiatives the advocates and governor say they will collaborate on include:
- Developing innovative measures to reduce unregulated chemicals in drinking water
- Fast-tracking and strengthening NJDEP PACT (Protection Against Climate Threats) rules to cut climate pollution and keep people out of harm's way from increasingly frequent and extreme weather
- Accelerating the transition to zero emission vehicles, ports and buildings
- Increased, sustainable funding for NJ Transit and the Clean Energy Fund
- Move even closer towards zero waste and addressing warehouse proliferation
“Fifty years from now future generations will either look back at us in gratitude for giving up our selfish ways and tackling the climate emergency or they will be living with nightmarish burdens and angrily wondering how a generation could have so brazenly ignored science and doomed the planet. Right now in NJ, we need Governor Murphy’s clear eyed, dedicated, and robust climate leadership,” added Janet Tauro, Clean Water Action’s NJ Board Chair.
When it comes to public health, the climate emergency, environmental justice and the economy, the choice between the candidates couldn’t be clearer. As documented in Clean Water Action’s NJ legislative scorecard, Ciattarelli received failing grades throughout his Assembly career from 2012-17, never scoring above 40% and regularly voting against flood hazard, water quality, wetlands, Highlands, Pinelands, and climate protections.
“Earlier this week, NJ First Lady Tammy Murphy stated that ‘the warnings are clear and stark: fundamental changes must be made to drastically decrease emissions now. Our urgency in reducing emissions will help us to develop an economic ecosystem that fosters generational investments and prioritizes environmental justice. The truth is serious climate action will create not destroy opportunities to build a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce and create family-sustaining jobs.’ Clean Water Action couldn’t agree more,” concluded Goldsmith. “If we want to see positive changes happen in New Jersey then the one thing that should not change is who is at the helm as Governor of the State of New Jersey. Phil Murphy is Clean Water Action’s choice and he should be the voters’ choice too.”
For a complete list of Clean Water Action New Jersey endorsed candidates, go to https://cleanwateraction.org/features/2021-new-jersey-endorsements-clean-water-action