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  • Commuters & Advocates Protest NJ Transit Fare Increases, Warn of Future Fare Hikes Because of Tranit Funding Crisis | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    its debt service stifling New Jersey s ability to fund much needed capital improvements to expand mass transit and repair its crumbling roads and bridges said Janna Chernetz Senior New Jersey Policy Analyst for Tri State Transportation Campaign We re nearly halfway to the unveiling of our next state budget and we re not any closer to solving our transportation crisis so riders aren t facing a worse crunch next year The 2016 state budget included just 33 million in state subsidy for NJ Transit which paved the way for the NJ Transit fare hike as well as the continued raid of the Clean Energy Fund of 62 million and redirection of 295 million from the Turnpike Authority that was supposed to be dedicated to the cancelled ARC tunnel The fare hikes and service cuts highlight the severity of the multi faceted transportation funding crisis in New Jersey The fare hikes set to go into effect this week while not as large as 2010 s hikes will nonetheless harm New Jersey s working families and its economy advocates warned New Jersey s low wage workers are falling further and further behind as wages stagnate poverty stays stubbornly high and now those who depend on public transit will have to pay an even larger share of their income just to get to work said Serena Rice Executive Director of the Anti Poverty Network of New Jersey If we want to grow our economy we need to stop making it harder for our workers to get to work How can we possibly expect to build a strong economy if people cannot get to work asked Ann Vardeman Program Director at New Jersey Citizen Action We cannot continue to stand by and watch our public transit infrastructure crumble We need our elected leaders to stand up for the working people of New Jersey and properly fund transportation There is no more time to kick the can down the road The fare hikes will also harm New Jersey s environment as higher fares and sub par service sends more New Jerseyans into their cars This week starts the great train robbery and bus robbery Not only does the 9 percent increase rob pockets of commuters it will cause a drop in ridership putting more people back in cars and leading to more traffic and pollution said Jeff Tittel Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club The Christie Administration could have easily come up with additional funding sources like a gas tax to prevent this hike but instead they ve told thousands of people who opposed it to take a hike This will hurt our economy and businesses people will be delayed and get to work late while worsening our air quality problems Cyndi Steiner executive director of the New Jersey Bike Walk Coalition added that these fare hikes reflect a complete disregard for the value of a transportation system that provides a variety of transportation options enabling a workforce diverse in economic level geographic

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/commuters-advocates-protest-nj-transit-fare-increases-warn-future-fare-hikes-because-tranit (2016-05-01)
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  • Clean and Green Forum Puts Focus on Capital City in Debate on PennEast Pipeline, Fracking and the Green Job Economy | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    our environment The proposed PennEast pipeline flies in the face of those efforts cutting through protected and preserved land risking habitat for endangered species and threatening crucial water resources I stand in firm opposition to the pipeline and any project that puts corporations before the preservation of our environment We must stand together to protect our natural resources said Congresswoman Watson Coleman D 12 Senator Shirley K Turner who represents Trenton said Our residents have made it clear that their priority is to protect and preserve our state s open spaces agricultural land and natural resources Allowing the billions of dollars our taxpayers have invested for conservation and land and waterway protection to be wasted for corporate profit would be reprehensible The Delaware River provides 30 of New Jersey s drinking water but New Jersey only controls 23 3 of the water shed Pennsylvania controls 50 3 and New York controls 18 5 said Jerry Haimowitz an Environmental Engineer To protect the Delaware New Jersey should ban the disposal of fracking waste at sewage treatment plants in New Jersey support the DRBC and New York bans on fracking and ask DRBC and NY to ban the disposal of fracking waste in their sewage treatment plants The Citizens Campaign an organization that has been working directly with Trenton residents hosted the second section of the evening Civic Trustees a new force for strengthening Trenton s ability to tackle tough issues served as panelists Through the over 30 local leaders within our Trenton Civic Trust we have already demonstrated how a solutions oriented no blame approach can generate tangible results including on critical environmental issues said Harry Pozycki President of The Citizens Campaign In fact as a direct result of the leadership of the Trenton Civic Trustees the City of Trenton is

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/clean-and-green-forum-puts-focus-capital-city-debate-penneast-pipeline-fracking-and-green (2016-05-01)
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  • NJ Off-Shore Wind Advocates Urge Obama Administration To Keep Moving Forward on Wind | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    Christie to finally implement his own off shore wind bill from five years ago It s never too late to follow your own law said Doug O Malley director of Environment New Jersey Thankfully the federal government isn t pushing the pause button on clean energy November s auction of off shore water will finally put a price tag on the economic value of off shore wind The move by the Department of Interior comes after five years of inaction by the Christie Administration to implement a bill signed by Gov Christie in August 2010 greenlighting off shore wind and creating a timeline for the Board of Public Utilities to create an off shore wind program Five years later the state has still not implemented the bill The year so far has marked a major milestone in America s pursuit of offshore wind power with our first project finally under construction off the coast of Rhode Island said the letter We are counting on your leadership to ensure that the Block Island offshore wind farm is truly the beginning of a new energy chapter for America This July BPU President Rick Mroz promised during his Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing that the BPU would hire an independent consultant to assist the BPU with the creation of an off shore wind program The Off Shore Wind Economic Development Act had a goal of 1 100 MW from off shore wind and the recently reviewed Energy Master Plan discussed the potential for 3 000 MW of off shore wind off the Jersey Shore Momentum is building for offshore wind in the U S This summer constrctuction began at the nation s first offshore wind farm off the Rhode Island coast near Block Island At the same time the Obama administration has awarded nine

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/nj-shore-wind-advocates-urge-obama-administration-keep-moving-forward-wind (2016-05-01)
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  • Tired of Waiting, Feds Move Forward On Off-Shore Wind Leases Off the Jersey Shore | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    wind development could equal as much as 16 fossil fuel burning power plants making offshore wind an attractive option for states developing plans to shift to clean energy to achieve the targets in Clean Power Plan recently finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency EPA in early August I am glad to see BOEM moving forward with plans to auction off 344 000 acres off the coast of New Jersey for the development of clean limitless wind power said Senator Robert Menendez D NJ Projects like this are vital in our fight to expand clean energy cut carbon pollution and create good paying jobs Today s announcement is just another example of how New Jersey can become a national leader in the clean energy economy There will be two lease areas in the total Wind Energy Areas that will be put up for auction by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management BOEM The final notice of sale will require that off shore wind companies can t bid and be awarded both lease areas The proposed off shore wind lease area if fully developed could power more than 1 2 million homes The Wind Energy Area begins about seven nautical miles off the coast from Atlantic City A map can be found here The Bureau of Ocean Management has already awarded nine commercial offshore wind leases including seven through the competitive lease sale process two in an area offshore Rhode Island Massachusetts another two offshore Massachusetts two offshore Maryland and one offshore Virginia These lease sales have generated about 14 5 million in winning bids for more than 700 000 acres in federal waters This July Deepwater Wind put steel in the water to officially begin the construction of the nation s first off shore wind mill of the coast of Rhode

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/tired-waiting-feds-move-forward-shore-wind-leases-jersey-shore (2016-05-01)
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  • Gov. Christie Attempts To Duck EPA Clean Power Plan, but Can't Ignore Climate Change | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    to build natural gas plants as he recently stated at a town hall in New Hampshire As we approach the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Sandy it is a fair question whether the Governor continues to view global warming as an esoteric issue The NJDEP statement announcing the stay makes no reference to the potential dangers climate change poses to the state either from sea level rise rising temperatures or increased extreme weather events The statement doesn t reference the legislative mandates of the Global Warming Response Act to reduce emissions by 80 by 2050 an aggressive but necessary mandate The final EPA Clean Power Plan issued in early August was stronger than the draft version proposed last year Nationally power plants will need to reduce their carbon emission by 32 over the next 15 years However New Jersey s carbon pollution reductions from power plants over the next 15 years were reduced from 43 to 23 We can only wonder what the Christie Administration s reaction would have been if the draft plan hadn t been altered The EPA Clean Power Plan is the first time there has ever been any federal limit put on the unchecked carbon pollution being emitted from power plants across the country New Jersey can t continue to skate by on the clean energy achievements of past administrations Today s announcement by the Christie Administration that it is requesting a stay of the requirements of the EPA Clean Power Plan uses a thin argument that the EPA is overstepping its legal authority The 2007 Supreme Court decision Massachusetts vs EPA clearly states that EPA has the authority to regulate carbon pollution under the power of the Clean Air Act This letter should have been cced to Iowa Republican primary voters because it s clear that

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/gov-christie-attempts-duck-epa-clean-power-plan-cant-ignore-climate-change (2016-05-01)
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  • EPA Clean Water Rule To Take Effect Tomorrow, Protecting Wetlands & More than 4,000 Miles of New Jersey Streams | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    feet of water according to a new report by Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center The analysis Shelter from the Storm How Wetlands Protect Our Communities from Flooding says the area s wetlands are at risk from pollution and development however and so is the region s natural shield against flood damage Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States causing an average of 8 2 billion in damage each year for the past 30 years As global warming continues scientists predict that the damage caused by floods will only increase Warmer air is able to hold more water vapor leading to higher levels of precipitation during rain and snowstorms At the start of this decade storms were already producing 78 percent more precipitation in the Northeast than they did in the 1950s The analysis shows New Jersey boasts approximately 687 000 acres of freshwater wetlands statewide In the counties for which flood hazard data are available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA more than 125 000 acres of the state s freshwater wetlands are in 100 year flood zones In South Jersey in Gloucester County there are more than 32 000 acres of freshwater wetlands of which more than 14 000 acres are located in 100 year flood zones Together these wetlands are capable of holding more than 10 6 billion gallons of water in Gloucester County alone Statewide wetlands are capable of holding more than 224 billion gallons of water As a reference an acre of wetland one foot deep can hold more than 330 000 gallons of water Addressing a loophole created by Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 the Clean Water Rule restores protections to streams that feed drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans Millions of acres of wetlands vital for flood control and filtering pollutants are also again shielded under federal law The court rulings had put small streams headwaters and certain wetlands including close to half of the streams in New Jersey in a perilous legal limbo This allowed polluters and developers to dump into them or destroy them in many cases without any federal oversight In a four year period following the decisions the U S Environmental Protection Agency had to drop more than 1 500 investigations against polluters according to one analysis by The New York Times The Clean Water Rule adopted this May 28 following a decade long push by Environment New Jersey and others ensures that such pollution cases can be prosecuted On the front end federal officials can now protect these waters with enforceable limits on pollution Environment New Jersey Clean Water Action Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association the New Jersey Sierra Club and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network in conjunction with local farmers and businesses held a town hall meeting on the night the EPA Clean Water Rule was announced this spring in Pennington and released a video produced by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network outlining public support for the rule This loophole in

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/epa-clean-water-rule-take-effect-tomorrow-protecting-wetlands-more-4000-miles-new-jersey (2016-05-01)
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  • On 5th Anniversary of Gov. Christie’s own Off-Shore Wind Bill, Advocates, Legislators, Businesses, Officials Urge an End to the Delay on Off-Shore Wind | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    Atlantic City implementing the long overdue OREC regulations and open new windows for new project submissions at the BPU all of which can be done immediately said Paul Gallagher COO of Fishermen s Energy a Cape May County off shore wind company Offshore wind power could play a crucial role in meeting carbon pollution reduction targets under the U S Environmental Protection Agency s finalized Clean Power Plan which will require New Jersey to reduce its carbon emissions from power plants by close to an quarter by 2030 as well as attaining the state s Renewable Portfolio Standard RPS mandate with in state renewable energy Five years ago the Governor signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act He promised that we would have clean energy from wind and instead he has blocked offshore wind in New Jersey This has cost New Jersey thousands of jobs hurting our economy and preventing clean renewable energy in our state New Jersey has enough potential of offshore wind to meet 1 3 of our electrical needs said Jeff Tittel Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club Because of the Governor s failed policies there is a port sitting empty a factory ready to be built and companies willing to invest money However Christie is holding offshore wind hostage to his national political ambitions The failure to do the financial rules has held up this important investment in offshore wind Not only have the Administration rejected offshore wind three times by voting down Fisherman s Energy Project they have not done financing rules New Jersey was supposed to be the first in the nation for offshore wind Rhode Island did not beat us to it On this Anniversary we need to demand that the BPU and the Governor make offshore wind a reality in New Jersey A 2014 analysis by Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center also shows the potential for offshore wind in New Jersey and how it could significantly expand in New Jersey over the next 15 years producing enough power more than 25 000 gigawatt hours for a majority of New Jersey s residential homes and offsetting the dangerous pollution of dirty energy sources The global warming emissions reductions would be more than 20 million metric tons of global warming pollution reduced per year The letter cites the urgent need to ramp up wind power production to help curb the pollution fueling global warming leading to extreme weather events and rising sea levels such as Hurricane Sandy and Irene Tapping the state s offshore wind potential would yield economic as well as environmental benefits Even with the lack of progress over the last five years South Jersey and manufacturing centers like Paulsboro are still well situated A wind turbine manufacturing facility is projected to create more than 1 000 jobs and an additional 100 million in economic benefits When you signed the Off Shore Wind Economic Development Act OWEDA into law five years ago today on August 19 2010 you said Developing

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/5th-anniversary-gov-christie%E2%80%99s-own-shore-wind-bill-advocates-legislators-businesses (2016-05-01)
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  • Off-Shore Wind Letter to Gov. Christie | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    facility is projected to create more than 1 000 jobs and an additional 100 million in economic benefits State leaders play a critical role in advancing offshore wind power off their shores The federal government has made significant progress in recent years identifying appropriate locations for offshore wind development including the July 2014 proposal of a notice for sale for 344 000 acres that are ideal for off shore wind off of Atlantic City If fully developed the area could support up to 3 400 MW of off shore wind energy which would power 1 2 million homes We call on you to commit to the following actions and move New Jersey toward realizing a clean energy future Fulfill the goal for offshore wind power in New Jersey s Energy Master Plan EMP of 3 000 MW and in the OWEDA legislation you signed into law which required 1 100 MW As states move forward with strategies to implement the EPA s Clean Power Plan off shore wind power offers a unique and scalable pollution free power source to meet local carbon emission reduction targets New Jersey will need to reduce emissions close to a quarter over the next 15 years off shore wind is the best way to do that Implement policies that ensure a competitive market for offshore wind power by ordering the Board to Public Utilities to release the Off Shore Renewable Energy Credit OREC proposal as required under the 2010 off shore wind legislation This is a crucial step in allowing the state to move forward with the off shore wind leasing process There is strong interest in New Jersey s Wind Energy Areas but the auction process for the Department of Interior leases will be obviously hampered without an OREC system in place and it will not be possible to meet the goals of OWEDA or the state EMP without action by the BPU The news last week that the BPU will be hiring an independent consultant to assist with the OREC rules is welcome but only if the BPU commits to an aggressive timeline with deadlines to implement OWEDA and revises the Energy Master Plan to reflect that new timeline Green light the Fishermen s Energy pilot off shore wind project off Atlantic City Order the Board of Public Utilities to reconsider their opposition Previous decisions by the BPU have negated the importance of the federal Department of Energy 50 million plus grant and cast aspersions on Fishermen s Energy financing despite the stamp of approval from the Ratepayer Advocate The extraordinary chain of events that has lead Fishermen s Energy to need to file legal action against the BPU for failure to greenlight a project that met significant benchmarks is hard to imagine if New Jersey wants to move forward on off shore wind Ensure an efficient transparent and environmentally responsible offshore wind leasing process that protects wildlife including marine mammals sea turtles and migratory birds Recruit an off shore wind OEM manufacturer

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/shore-wind-letter-gov-christie (2016-05-01)
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