- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

Some New Jersey environmentalists are upset that Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is opposing the proposed rules from President Barack Obama’s Administration to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by power plants by 2030.

It’s just the latest in a long string of times the Republican governor’s actions have upset New Jersey environmentalists.

Following is a run-down of some of his actions that have upset environmental groups:

GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE: Christie pulls New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a project among states in the Northeast that caps how much carbon dioxide can be produced by power plants and auctions off the right to produce it. The proceeds of the auction go to energy efficiency efforts. The state Department of Environmental Protection says that New Jersey is among the nation’s lowest producers of carbon dioxide as it is.

WAIVING RULES: The Department of Environmental Protection adopts a rule that allows it to waive its own rules upon request. It’s presented as a way to reduce bureaucratic red tape, though environmental groups said it was really a way to ignore important protections. A court later ruled that the government could waive its own rules.

OPEN SPACE: Christie publicly opposes a ballot measure to set aside a portion of the state’s business tax revenue to preserve open space. He said the measure improperly dictates what future lawmakers and governors must do. Most of the state’s environmental groups supported the measure and voters approved it last month.

NATURAL GAS DRILLING: In 2012, Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would have permanently banned hydraulic fracturing, a method of drilling for natural gas. While it’s a big industry in nearby Pennsylvania, there is no such drilling in New Jersey, where there is not believed to be enough gas to drill for. Under Christie’s change, the mostly symbolic one-year ban was in place in New Jersey, but that has since expired.

DRINKING WATER: Environmental groups were also upset that the state’s Drinking Water Quality Institute did not meet from 2010 until it was reconstituted earlier this year. The institute recommends regulations on the levels of pollutants that are allowed in water.

WIND POWER: The state Board of Public Utilities has rejected plans for a series of windmills to be built off the shore near Atlantic City, noting the project did not have guaranteed federal subsidies. Those rulings, too, have bothered some activists.


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