Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Court Rules New Jersey Gov. Christie Illegally Repealed Climate Standards

Climate
Court Rules New Jersey Gov. Christie Illegally Repealed Climate Standards

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decided in 2011 that power plants no longer had to comply with previously established pollution limits.

By posting an online notice saying as much, Christie essentially ended his state's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). He also broke the law, according to a ruling issued Tuesday morning.

The appellate division of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled in favor of Environment New Jersey and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in a lawsuit the organizations brought against the state Department of Environmental Protection regarding the governor's excuse of climate-changing pollution. Withdrawing from the RGGI allowed power plants to operate without accountability, the organizations argued. Now, Christie's administration has 60 days to implement a public process for any changes he wants to make to climate change pollution rules.

A New Jersey appellate court favored environmental organizations who disputed the legality of Gov. Chris Christie notifying power plants that they were no long subjected to pollution limits in 2011.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

“The Christie Administration sidestepped the public process required by law,” Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, said in a joint statement. “New Jerseyans support action to reduce the impacts of global warming. We hope that today’s ruling will help their voices be heard.”

The RGGI is a nine-state program with East Coast member states that have been reducing emissions at power plants for the past five years. Now that Christie needs to find a solution in the next two months, Environment New Jersey and the NRDC think a return to the consortium might make the most sense.

Reducing climate change pollution by a collective 30 percent since 2009, the groups think RGGI could be a good compliance model for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency when it proposes federal emissions standards for existing power plants this summer.

“Governor Christie’s fears can be put to rest,” said Travis Madsen, senior program manager for Environment America. “The evidence is clear: RGGI works.”

——–

Related Content:

Why Energy Companies’ Predictions on Carbon Limits Shouldn’t Be Trusted

How Energy Policies Dramatically Cut Carbon Pollution State by State

ALEC-Affiliated Legislators Launch Premature Attacks on Carbon Pollution Limits

A sea turtle rescued from Israel's devastating oil spill. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP via Getty Images

Rescue workers in Israel are using a surprising cure to save the sea turtles harmed by a devastating oil spill: mayonnaise!

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A "digital twin of Earth." European Space Agency

As the weather grows more severe, and its damages more expensive and fatal, current weather predictions fall short in providing reliable information on Earth's rapidly changing systems.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Melting ice in places such as Greenland could stop a critical ocean current. Paul Souders / Getty Images

The climate crisis could push an important ocean current past a critical tipping point sooner than expected, new research suggests.

Read More Show Less
California Gov. Gavin Newsom tours the Chevron oil field west of Bakersfield, where a spill of more than 900,000 gallons flowed into a dry creek bed, on July 24, 2019. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

Accusing California regulators of "reckless disregard" for public "health and safety," the environmental advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday sued the administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom for approving thousands of oil and gas drilling and fracking projects without the required environmental review.

Read More Show Less
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Kenyan professor Wangari Maathai poses during the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 15, 2009. Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty Images

By Kate Whiting

From Greta Thunberg to Sir David Attenborough, the headline-grabbing climate change activists and environmentalists of today are predominantly white. But like many areas of society, those whose voices are heard most often are not necessarily representative of the whole.

Read More Show Less