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Assembly Environment Chair Calls on Governor to Rethink Decision to Opt Out of Joint Effort to Crack Down on Nation’s Heaviest Polluters

Assembly Environment Committee Chair John F. McKeon (D-Essex) on Friday called on Governor Christie to rethink his decision to opt out of a multi-state effort to require coal plants in 27 states to reduce harmful emissions that contribute to pollution in other states.

In doing so, McKeon decried Christie’s decision to opt out of the effort to force some of the nation’s biggest polluters to comply with an Environmental Protection Agency rule, which many western and southern states are fighting.

“This decision absolutely defies common sense. Essentially the Governor is sitting on his hands and siding with polluters. The Northeast has been a leader in reducing harmful emissions and it’s time many other parts of the country caught up.

“Each state does not live in a vacuum. One state’s irresponsible emissions standards have the ability to impact millions of people in other states. The Governor’s decision to turn a blind eye to this reality demonstrates a careless disregard for the well-being of New Jersey residents.

“At the same time, his decision to join a lawsuit to force one Pennsylvania coal plant to reduce its emissions sends a costly mixed signal. It would be much more fiscally prudent to fight these harmful polluters through one collaborative multi-state effort than on a more expensive, case-by-case basis,” said McKeon (D-Essex).