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Assemblywoman Linda Stender, one of the prime sponsors of both the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Global Warming Response Act, today called Governor Christie’s decision to pull New Jersey out of RGGI “short-sighted and calamitous.”

“This is yet another example of the Governor unilaterally imposing his disastrous ideology on the people of this state in an effort to pander to his larger conservative base.

“He claims RGGI has been ineffective, yet offered no data to back up that claim. Meanwhile, according to the latest RGGI report, pollution is down 15-30 percent since its launch, almost 18,000 jobs have been created, and the region’s economy has grown by more than $2.3 billion. In New Jersey, alone, just the first dozen projects funded through the program will help reduce our Co2 emissions by 84,000 metric tons each year and help businesses generate over 167,000 megawatt hours of clean energy per year, enough to meet the equivalent annual electricity needs of more than 19,600 typical New Jersey households.

“The Governor also claims he has the authority to single-handedly withdraw us from RGGI. Meanwhile other states that have considered this move have done so through the legislative process. In fact, his own Republican colleagues in our legislature believe the same thing, going so far as to introduce legislation that would withdraw us from RGGI.

“We’ve seen the Governor turn his back on women, the working poor, and the middle class, but now he has turned his back on our entire state and our future way of life.

“This decision is short-sighted and calamitous for future generations and I will do everything in my power to fight it legislatively in order to protect the people of our state. The Governor’s feet must be held to the fire when it comes to his legal requirement to meet the ambitious greenhouse gas reductions goals set forth in the Global Warming Response Act,” said Stender (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union).