Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Court Rules New Jersey Gov. Christie Illegally Repealed Climate Standards

Climate

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Women walk from Santa Monica beach after a social media workout on the sand on May 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Independence Day weekend is a busy time for coastal communities as people flock to the beaches to soak up the sun during the summer holiday. This year is different. Some of the country's most popular beach destinations in Florida and California have decided to close their beaches to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

Read More Show Less
Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans and others who suffer from PTSD. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Arash Javanbakht

For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That's because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system. Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans.

Read More Show Less
Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs. Mathias Appel / Flickr

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs, warns a year-long inquiry into Australia's "most loved animal." The report published by the Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) paints a "stark and depressing snapshot" of koalas in Australia's southeastern state.

Read More Show Less
NASA is advancing tools like this supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. NASA/GSFC

By Jeff Berardelli

For the past year, some of the most up-to-date computer models from the world's top climate modeling groups have been "running hot" – projecting that global warming may be even more extreme than earlier thought. Data from some of the model runs has been confounding scientists because it challenges decades of consistent projections.

Read More Show Less
A child stands in what is left of his house in Utuado, Puerto Rico, which was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria, on Oct. 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios. Flickr, CC by 2.0
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

To hear many journalists tell it, the spring of 2020 has brought a series of extraordinary revelations. Look at what the nation has learned: That our health-care system was not remotely up to the challenge of a deadly pandemic. That our economic safety net was largely nonexistent. That our vulnerability to disease and death was directly tied to our race and where we live. That our political leadership sowed misinformation that left people dead. That systemic racism and the killing of Black people by police is undiminished, despite decades of protest and so many Black lives lost.
Read More Show Less
President Trump's claim last September that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama's gulf coast was quickly refuted by employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An independent investigation found that NOAA's chief violated the agency's ethics when he backed Trump's warning and doctored map that used a Sharpie to alter the storm's path, as EcoWatch reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

African bush elephants in the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve in Botswana on Nov. 22, 2016. Michael Jansen / Flickr

More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.

Read More Show Less