Ex-governors urge NJ representatives to oppose Trump’s cuts to the EPA

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Former New Jersey governors from both parties called on the state’s congressional delegation Tuesday to defend the environment as President Trump moves to slash federal funding for environmental protection.


Trump’s proposed 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency is “basically doing away with the agency,” including enforcement and scientific research, said former Republican Gov. Christie Whitman, who served as EPA commissioner under President George W. Bush.

“It’s easy for people to say they hate regulation,” Whitman said in a press call. But “I don’t think they’ve fully thought through the consequences of what’s going to happen when we stop protecting our environment.”


Whitman, who was joined on the call by former Democratic Govs. Brendan Byrne and Jim Florio, urged New Jersey’s congressional delegation to stand up for environmental protection.

Along with former Republican Gov. Tom Kean, former Democratic congressman Rush Holt, and former Republican assemblywoman Maureen Ogden, the former governors have signed onto a set of principles that environmental advocates plan to ask the state’s congressional delegation to endorse.

The principles, which were put forward by the New Jersey Conservation Association, include pledging to “support and defend environmental laws,” like the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.





Environmental laws will be threatened if the EPA cuts are enacted, Florio said.

“When you get rid of the personnel and money to enforce the law, you effectively repeal the law,” he said, arguing that protecting water and other resources was essential not just for health purposes, but economic development.

The principles also call for officials to “protect and defend public lands” and public funding for preservation; to promote renewable energy and energy conservation; and to “demand that all federal agencies, policies and laws be grounded in sound science.”

“We will work to address the critical and impending threat of manmade climate change that faces our Nation and our world,” the document reads.

Trump’s EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, has said he disagrees that manmade carbon emissions are a primary contributor to global warming, despite scientific consensus to the contrary.















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