Sierra Club: Town Hall of Frelinghuysen’s Environmental Record

Contact Jeff Tittel,609-558-9100

 

Town Hall of Frelinghuysen’s Environmental Record

The Sierra Club and other groups are hosting a town hall forum tonight to discuss Congressman Frelinghuysen’s environmental record. He has voted against climate change protections and for destructive processes like offshore drilling and fracking. He also voted to approve mountaintop mining, removing money from important environmental programs, and to repeal the Waters of the United States Rule. As the House Appropriations Chair, Frelinghuysen had the power to block cutbacks to the EPA and other important environmental programs. Instead of working for his constituents, he has sided with corporate polluters over our public health and safety and moved forward with his anti-environmental budget. Speakers and participants include NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel, Matt Smith from NJ Food and Water Watch, and Harriet Shugarman from Climate Mama, Jerome Wagner of 350.org, John Reichman from BlueWaveNJ, and Rebecca Scheer with NJ 11th for Change. The town hall is taking place on Tuesday, October 24th from 7 to 9 pm at Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS) Building Room 120, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ.

“We’re having an environmental town meeting because Congressman Frelinghuysen wouldn’t. The people of his district deserve to know where he stands on these issues and what his voting record is. He has one of the worst environmental records of anyone in Congress. Recently, he is pushing a budget with cuts to important agencies such as the EPA, NOAA, and DOE that would help fight climate change. The NJDEP alone gets almost half of its money from EPA to work on environmental programs, including capital projects. These cuts will eliminate pollution testing for coastal waters, get rid of the National Estuaries Program, cut Superfund, climate and clean water programs, and more,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Congressman Frelinghuysen is going along with Donald Trump’s war on the environment. His environmental performance, including the recent budget proposal, is a disaster and it will have especially dangerous effects on New Jersey.”

 

The Congressman has failed to advocate for a full cleanup of the site or even to get it placed on the Superfund list. Every year, Congressman Frelinghuysen tours Superfund sites and talks about his concern for the environment and public health. However, in reality he has done nothing to reinstate the Superfund tax on the chemical and fossil fuels industries that funded the program until the mid-1990s. Lack of adequate funds means it takes longer to clean up sites, leading to more toxins in groundwater and neighborhoods. The congressman is so far going along with the current administration’s efforts to roll back EPA funding in general.

 

“Frelinghuysen is coming out against the EPA as a bureaucracy, while it is under attack by President Trump. Frelinghuysen runs around saying he supports the Superfund program, but he isn’t support Superfund Tax and won’t stand up against to Trump cutting the program by 30 percent. He is even given Trump cover by cutting back the EPA, which will end the groundbreaking work the Edison EPA lab has done on cleaning up toxic sites. Trump’s budget will mean our 118 Superfund sites will not be cleaned-up nor will hundreds of other toxic sites that could leaking contamination into our groundwater and communities. This impacts Frelinghuysen’s district, but instead he has blocked action to fund the Superfund program,” said Jeff Tittel. “Considering that New Jersey suffers the most from Superfund Sites, pollution, and climate change, the Congressman has not properly defended the people and communities of New Jersey by pushing for these cuts.”

 

Instead of working to protect the state and communities he represents, Congressman Frelinghuysen continuously votes to support Big Oil and other corporate polluters. For example, he voted to life the crude oil export ban. Since Congressman Frelinghuysen has been in Congress, but he has done nothing to reinstate the Superfund Tax since it expired in the 1990s. New Jersey has more Superfund Sites than any other state in the nation but we don’t have enough money for adequate clean ups and we aren’t going after polluters. The Congressman takes credit for clean-ups during his annual tour of these sites, while simultaneously voting against the funding. He should have been working to get proper funding to really clean-up these sites that put New Jersians in danger every day.

 

“We’re here to show people that Frelinghuysen is doing nothing more than going along with Trump’s attack on the environment. When it comes to the environment he has one of the worst voting records in all of Congress. While Trump is rolling back environmental protections by dismantling and eliminating programs, Frelinghuysen is cheering him on,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We will continue to demand that Congressman Frelinghuysen protect the people of his district by fighting federal environmental rollbacks and working to protect the EPA. If Congressman Frelinghuysen doesn’t represent us, then we will get someone who will.”

 

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