Today, the Obama administration finalized new clean car standards that will double the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles by 2025, drastically reducing emissions of carbon pollution and cutting oil use in New Jersey and nationwide. The standards will cover new cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025, and require those vehicles to meet the equivalent of a 54.5 miles-per-gallon standard by 2025.
New Jersey organizations today joined more than 300 others in calling on Governor Christie and other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic governors to build on progress reducing pollution and promoting clean energy by improving the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The coalition – which includes environmental and public health organizations, consumer advocates, and clean energy and mainstream businesses – highlighted RGGI’s success to date. In addition, they called on governors to strengthen the program’s pollution reduction targets and increase local investments in clean energy and energy efficiency measures that benefit the climate, the economy, public health, and energy consumers.
Just days a series of severe storms ripped through Central Jersey, leading to severe rains and flooding that devastated the town of Freehold, a new Environment New Jersey report confirms that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 33 percent more frequently in New Jersey since 1948. The Central Jersey storm followed a June 29th storm that brought high winds and rain to Southern Jersey, now considered one of the most destructive and severe thunderstorms in the region’s history. 206,000 people in Atlantic, Cumberland, and Salem counties lost power following the June 29th storm.
Gov. Christie has again vetoed a bill to continue New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – originally a 10-state program designed to reduce harmful power plant pollution, make polluters pay for their emissions, and invest those payments in local clean energy programs.
Gov. Christie pulled the state from the program last December. The New Jersey Legislature, having received over 60,000 public comments in support of the program, has now twice passed legislation (S1322) to keep New Jersey in RGGI. The program’s main opponent is the Tea Party-affiliated group Americans for Prosperity – a group funded by out of state fossil fuel interests, including the multi-billionaire Koch Brothers.
A new report by Environment New Jersey released today highlights the role that clean energy and environmental policies have played in moving states toward meeting targets for reducing global warming emissions, while challenging claims that actions that reduce emissions undermine economic growth.
According to “A Record of Leadership: How Northeastern States are Cutting Global Warming Pollution and Building a Clean Economy,” New Jersey and the 9 other states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have cut per capita carbon dioxide emissions 20 percent faster than the rest of the nation, even as the region’s gross product per capita grew 87 percent faster than the rest of the United States.