Sierra Club: Poll Shows Murphy Underwater on Lead and Major Accomplishments

Poll Shows Murphy Underwater on Lead and Major Accomplishments

Today, a Monmouth University Poll came out with a 41% approval rating on Governor Phil Murphy. Public opinions are unhappy with issues like property tax, middle class, and dealing with Newark’s lead crisis. Just 10% approve of Murphy’s handling of the lead contamination issue in the state’s largest city while 28% disapprove. However, 41% have no opinion of how he has handled this problem and 21% have not heard anything about this issue.

“The Governor is underwater in his polls when it comes to dealing with lead in drinking water. His approval rating shows that he has mishandled the lead crisis in Newark. This is the first real environmental issue that Governor Murphy has been directly polled on, and he did not do well. His approval ratings for all groups, Democratic, Independent and Republic, are 10% approval and 20% disapproval, but more importantly in areas around Newark and Hudson County, his approval ratings are at 12% approval and 44% disapproval,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “These polls are not a surprise when the public sees a Governor who has failed to adequately address the lead crisis and show any type of leadership on climate change, the environment, and many other issues.”

Currently, 41% of New Jerseyans approve of the job Murphy is doing as governor and 38% disapprove. These results are similar to the 43% approve and 40% disapprove rating in February 2019.  In April 2018, Murphy’s approval rating was similar at 44%, while his disapproval rating was lower at 28%.

“The recent poll reflects that the public does not see any major accomplishments by Governor Murphy. It is almost the second anniversary of his election and Murphy’s approval and ratings are lower than what Christie’s and Corzine’s were at this period. In a state that is overwhelming Democrat, the Republicans show concerns with the Governor. Murphy hasn’t stepped forward to reverse Christie’s rollbacks or the environment issues- deal with threat to fossil fuel projects in NJ or moved forward aggressively to stop new fossil fuel projects in New Jersey,” said Tittel. “The public has seen small improvements like moving forward on offshore wind.”

The Murphy Administration are still using Governor Christie’s weakened rules when it comes to protecting the environment. Christie’s attack on clean water included rollbacks to wetland protections, flood hazard protections, water quality planning and stream encroachment rules. DEP’s new stormwater rule has raised serious concerns to FEMA and environmental groups that will cause more flooding and pollution in New Jersey.

“The people of New Jersey who supported Murphy because of his environmental agenda are fed up when they see that the Murphy Administration is still using Christie rules. For example, DEP’s proposed stormwater management rule is a continuation of Christie’s rollbacks on wetlands, flood hazard, and stormwater that does not protect stream buffers or C1 streams. The administration have not addresses lead issues lead happening across the state in areas like Newark, Paterson, Camden, Morristown, and in 30 towns in Bergen County. The Administration has taken a step forward by filing environmental lawsuits on polluters like DuPont, but their new proposed guidance rule on contaminated groundwater will undermine that progress and will allow polluters off the hook,” said Tittel. “DEP still need to move forward on making strict standards for PFOAs, PFOs, and dozens of toxic chemicals in our environment.”

New Jersey has more than a dozen proposed fossil fuel projects that have met strong opposition from environmental groups, legislators, and local officials, however Murphy has yet to take action.

“Even though some New Jerseyans feel unhappy with Murphy’s job performance as Governor, he Governor has time to improve his approval ratings. In order to do that, he need to keep his word on the environment, our health, and other issues. He needs to move forward on fixing New Jersey’s lead problem, protecting our clean air, promoting renewable energy, and focusing on improving environmental justice communities. More importantly, he needs to put a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects so we can achieve his 100% renewable energy goals,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “By showing more leadership on this and many issues that Governor Murphy cares about, he will gain more support from the people of New Jersey and get the agenda done.”

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