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Gov. Christie and Koch brothers share anti-environment agenda

titteljeff042411_optBY JEFF TITTEL
COMMENTARY

The relationship between the Koch brothers and Governor Christie has come to light because of the release of a tape from a Koch brothers convention is very troubling, but in a way not surprising. Since Governor Christie has been in office he has been doing the bidding of the Koch brothers. And now the tape from this million dollar Koch brothers lovefest proves it. Having the Koch brothers praise him and call him one of their own shows that what we were fearing is true. Governor Christie has been following the Koch brothers’ environmental agenda here in New Jersey.

When Christie came into office he froze all regulations and set up the Red Tape Review group. He signed an executive order saying New Jersey cannot have rules stricter than federal standards. He streamlined permitting and set up an economic office within the DEP. The Koch brothers are the biggest funders of initiatives to stop the regulation of climate change pollution, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and the Governor pulled out of RGGI. Christie took the side of fossil fuels over renewables and energy efficiency in his revised Energy Master Plan and attacked rebates for weatherization and solar panels as socialism and a redistribution of wealth. He vetoed the fracking ban bill after being praised by the Koch brothers at the convention. All these polices come directly from the Koch brothers' agenda.

This tape removes that wall of separation between Christie and the Koch brothers. His agenda is their agenda when it comes to the environment. Christie’s environmental agenda comes from the Koch funded front groups like Americans For Prosperity, Club for Growth, and American Legislative Exchange Council. Christie said he was doing these things for New Jersey but this tape shows it was to curry favor with the Koch brothers at the detriment of the people and environment of New Jersey. Christie says ‘New Jersey is a model’ so his attacks on the environment are part of the Koch brother’s national model for weakening environmental protection. The governor's biggest problem is that the people of New Jersey care about a clean and healthy environment and this tape shows he would rather fold to national political interests than stand up for New Jersey.

The connection between Christie and the Koch brothers is a strange cup of tea that is detrimental to the health and environment of New Jersey. In a state like New Jersey, being linked to the ultra-right wing anti-environment Koch brothers does not fit in with the mainstream New Jersey residents who care about the environment and are opposed to environmental abuses like fracking and mountain mining.



 

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