Assembly Passes Weak Global Warming Response Bill- Gov. Murphy Must CV
Today the Assembly passed A4821(Huttle) with a vote of 66-7-2. The bill establishes new timeframes for implementation of certain requirements in “Global Warming Response Act”; requires DEP to adopt strategy to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. This bill has been passed by the Senate already and will now go the Governor Murphy’s desk. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, released the following statement:
“We are in a sense of urgency when it comes to climate change and this bill does not do enough to deal with the climate crisis. We originally had concerns with the legislation and introduced amendments that the Legislature agreed to. However, the DEP opposed them and actually made the bill weaker by taking out regulating black carbon, it also does not have any real benchmarks. Under this bill, DEP will have 18 months to come up with rules on testing and monitoring and then have another 18 months to do monitoring and testing to change the voluntary timeline of a Global Warming Response Act. There is nothing under this bill that the DEP couldn’t do now under the current Global Warming Response Act.
“We met with the Governor’s office and legislature in the last few days to toughen the legislation and they have agreed with most of our amendments. We had given amendments to strengthen the bill like adding regulations on black carbon. We asked for the bill to be held, and the sponsor said yes however leadership of the committees are still moving it forward anyway. We need the legislation to compel the DEP to actually set standards for reduction for C02 emissions and greenhouse gases. DEP has the authority to regulate greenhouses but chose not to. We need to give DEP some teeth to regulate C02, GHG emissions, and black carbon. We believe the bill should require the DEP to regulate natural gas powerplants and set standards and regulations for C02 and other emissions.
“As we move forward on our 100% clean energy goals by 2020, we should be ratcheting down on fossil fuels until we get to zero emissions. We need to make clear targets on how to reduce GHG that should be achieved every 5 years. This bill must also target communities overburdened with a disproportionate amount of pollution. DEP also should be modeling and making regulations on fugitive emissions for GHGs. The department should require a tonnage fee on air permits too.
“It is even more important to reduce greenhouse gases as quickly as we can. UN Climate Report warns of a global tipping point by 2030. New Jersey is facing 13 proposed fossil fuel projects. If built, these new projects would increase CO2 and GHG emissions by approximately 32 million metric tons per year or about 32%.
“This bill going to the Governor’s desk is not enough when it comes to reducing our air emissions. The bill is testing without monitoring. It’s like when your house is on fire and you run out to get a fire alarm. That is why we are asking Governor Murphy to conditional veto the bill so that we can work with the legislature and Governor to strengthen it and keep it moving. We will see if Murphy will keep to his word and fix this legislation or just use it for green cover.”