Environmental Group Backs Buono After Endorsing Christie In ‘09

State Sen. Barbaba Buono accepts the NJEF's endorsement for her gubernatorial campaign. (Photo courtesy of Buono for Governor)

State Sen. Barbaba Buono accepts the NJEF’s endorsement for her gubernatorial campaign. (Photo courtesy of Buono for Governor)

BAYONNE  – Calling her the best steward to advance environmental protection and grow the economy, the NJ Environmental Federation (NJEF) announced its endorsement of state Sen. Barbara Buono for Governor at the solar-powered Bayonne High School on Tuesday.

NJEF backed Christie in 2009 but found endorsing Buono in 2013 an easy call given a series of broken promises by Gov. Chris Christie and Buono’s record and vision on issues like clean energy and green jobs.

“Barbara Buono is without any doubt the environmental candidate in this year’s race for governor. We agree that the environment and the economy are inextricably linked, while Gov. Christie’s policies show them to be mutually exclusive,” said Janet Tauro, NJ Environmental Federation’s Board Chair. “With unemployment so high and the environment in such jeopardy we need to work together, invest in each other, and promote polices that protect jobs, the environment and the economy, not tear things apart.”

Tauro noted Buono’s record as a strong environmental advocate as a promise of great things to come, calling her a leader in campaigns that defeated efforts to rollback key environmental and public health protections, reducing exposure to toxic pesticide in schools, climate change actions, as well as have a near perfect environmental voting record in the  Legislature.

“The contrast between the candidates’ record on climate change and the economy were key to the endorsement and both favored Buono. Our economic recovery is behind Pennsylvania and New York, 415,000 New Jerseyans still out of work. We need a leader who’ll invest in a green economy not raid it,” added NJ Environmental Federation Board Member Ben Forest, citing the Governor’s annual diversion of Clean Energy funds currently totally over $750 million and growing.

“The Governor not only rejects the economic benefits of greening economy (from manufacturing to installation), but the environment and public health benefits too,” said Amy Goldsmith, NJEF’s State Director. “Over and over again he said one thing as a candidate in 2009 and did another.”

Goldsmith charged that more than 75 percent of the Christie’s 2009 promises remain unfulfilled, and many of those he did even worse by doing the exact opposite of what he promised, and most of the balance were comparatively easy to do.

In addition to raiding the Clean Energy Fund, causing thousands of jobs to be lost or never hired, other examples of Christie going the wrong way include withdrawing unilaterally from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, failing to protect key waterways, continuing flawed Corzine policies and repeatedly rejecting expert advice of his own advisory panel on drinking water standards.

Christie broke commitments to have environmental justice “carry much greater weight”, and cost/benefit analysis consider health care costs lives saved, illnesses avoided, work and sick days not lost, and health costs, in regulatory decisions, according to Goldsmith.

“The sad truth is the Governor cannot be trusted on the environment and bring about an economic recovery,” ,” said David Pringle, NJEF’s Campaign Director. “He is disinvesting in New Jersey so individual millionaire’s don’t have to pay their fair share. His policies cost NJ taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ money, provide less jobs and slower economic growth, and more pollution and disease.”

“He gave his word in 2009 and said he’s only as good as his word,” said Pringle. “Well we’ve found out the hard way his word isn’t very good. That’s why our professional canvass will be knocking on tens of thousands of doors and we’ll be doing much, much more for Barbara Buono – a State Senator who has a nearly 100% environmental record with her actions and leadership speaking louder and more assuredly than the Governor’s words.”

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