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(TRENTON) – Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), chairman of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, released the following statement Thursday on Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative:

“Gov. Christie has in one wrong-headed decision decimated New Jersey’s clean air and energy advocacy efforts. Sadly, this day will go down in history as the one in which New Jersey ceded its standing as a leader in environmental protection efforts.
“Under this governor, we are now a state that puts right-wing sound bites over innovation. We have gone from being a clean energy and environmental protection innovator to a national laughingstock.
“Quite simply, this decision reeks of a governor desperate to boost his radical conservative credentials to distract from his failing policies. The governor may view this as a win as he is hailed by conservatives, but everyone else is going to lose.
“Our air will be dirtier, especially hurting children and senior citizens.
“The economic development, job creation and consumer benefits we would have built around energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs have been lost.
“At the very least, after this decision, no one can argue that his governor favors environmental protection. It would be hilarious that anyone actually thought as much, though there’s nothing funny about dirty air and lost jobs. I am prepared to take whatever legislative steps that may be possible to prevent this from happening.”