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Christie Balances Budget At The Expense Of The Environment

solarfieldBY MICHAEL HAYNE
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY

Gov. Christie got flak when vowed to seize $140 million in affordable housing in order to balance the budget, and now he's getting more flak over his decision to take money away from the environment.

Despite picking up key endorsement from environmental groups during his 2009 campaign, Christie appears to have lost their favor after continuously breaking pledges and hurting the environment.  The New Jersey Environmental Federation, for example, is having major buyer's remorse.

"He has not kept his promise," Ben Forest, a member of the federation board, said recently.  (NJ.com)

Lying to voters and kissing their butt is what politicians typically do while campaigning, then the empty-promises become more vast than an abusive husband. And when it comes to the environment, Chris Christie might as well be Chris Carter.

It really comes down to money. For example, Christie has taken more than $800 million from three funds devoted to promoting clean energy initiatives, like solar and wind power, and used the money to plug the budget. Also, it seems that roughly $194 million — more than half of the Clean Energy Fund’s anticipated revenue — would be siphoned under Christie’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

"The (energy fund) raid cost 6,400 New Jerseyans jobs and severely undermines our efforts to move into a green economy," said David Pringle, the federation’s campaign director. "From an economic and environmental standpoint, it’s crushing." (NJ.com)

Perhaps this explains why Democrats are calling it a hidden tax, although Christie denies it.

"It’s not a hidden tax — the taxes are right out there," Christie said, also dismissing suggestions that he didn’t care about environment.

"My view is we need to make sure, in very difficult times, that we use every tool at our disposal to try to minimize the impact on the taxpayers, and I believe this does,"  (NJ.com)

Nevertheless, environmental groups aren't as enthusiastic this time around. For example, NJEF recently endorsed State Senator and presumptive Democratic opponent Barbara Buono.

 

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