Continued Climate Chaos: The True Cost of Reliance on Fossil Fuels
Why We Must Support a Real Green New Deal Before It's Too Late!
One of the most talked about policy changes currently taking place in Washington, D.C. and here in New Jersey is "The Green New Deal," a plank in the Green Party US and the Green Party of New Jersey (GPNJ's) platform for decades. GPNJ calls on Governor Murphy, state senators and assembly members, local officials and our entire New Jersey Congressional delegation to support a Real Green New Deal with enforcement mechanisms. According to the most recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have only 12 years to prevent a total planetary disaster.
Green Party of New Jersey
For Immediate Release
February 11, 2019
For more information contact:
Madelyn Hoffman: (973) 876-1023 or [email protected]
No Green New Deal will work without directly confronting the nation's bloated military budget ($716 billion) and reallocating up to 50% of that money to confronting climate change. The U.S. military is the world's largest polluter and also the world's largest institutional consumer of oil. Also, unless there is a plan for confronting the fossil fuels industry directly and converting from reliance on fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy sources by 2030, the Green New Deal will not succeed in ending climate chaos. What enables the Greens to confront the fossil fuels industry is that unlike other political parties, it takes no money from them.
"Governor Murphy pledged to have New Jersey be 50% fossil fuel free by 2030 and 100% fossil fuel free by 2050. That, on its face, would be too little, too late," said Madelyn Hoffman, member of GPNJ. "But plans are proceeding to build more pipelines and power plants.. We certainly can't achieve what's needed by granting permits for the North Bergen Liberty Power Plant, a major new power plant proposed for the Meadowlands. The power plant would require upgrading an existing pipeline, transporting fracked natural gas through the pipeline, burning the natural gas, then transporting that energy via 6.5 miles of underground cable to New York City. More than half of Bergen County's 70 towns already oppose this proposal. We can't achieve these goals by granting permits to the PennEast pipeline. All Hunterdon County towns opposed that project. When will Governor Murphy deny their permits or call for a fracking ban in New Jersey?"
In December 2018, a New Jersey federal judge issued a ruling which could set a dangerous precedent for other fossil fuel pipelines in New Jersey. The judge ruled that the PennEast Pipeline Co.'s pipeline project has been "deemed by federal regulators to be in the public need and benefit," and that their company, "(has been) granted access to properties it requires in New Jersey in order to perform surveys."
GPNJ opposes the giving of the rights to seize land through the use of eminent domain to a private company that directly stands to profit from such abuse, and opposes the treatment of fossil fuel pipelines as a "public need and benefit" altogether.
These claims of 'low-cost' and 'economy strengthen(ing)' do not take into account the atmospheric side-effects of producing and transporting enough high-methane (a greenhouse gas 25-86 times more potent than CO2) natural gas to serve over 4.7 million homes – which will be a cost shouldered by all future generations. These claims do not take into account the potentially permanent loss of wilderness, residential, and/or commercial areas that will economically, ecologically, and sociologically suffer after there is an inevitable leak, and/or deadly explosion. These claims do not take into account the destruction and/or disturbance of the public water supply, local biodiversity, and forests that will result from producing the natural gas that gets shipped through this pipeline and the construction of the pipeline itself, and these claims do not take into account the public health consequences and lost productivity such resource production and transportation will cause.
"Any policy in regards to 'public need and benefit' must actually prioritize the public: our health, safety, freedoms, indigenous land claims and treaties, local voices and grassroots democracy, empowerment and equity. Governments have served corporations over people for far too long and the result has been persistent systemic poverty, inequality, oppression, violence, reduced health and standards of living for the vast majority of human beings," stated Theresa Markila, GPNJ co-chair. "Only through addressing the harms of imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, and white supremacy will we able to restore truly public priorities. The Green Party of NJ knows that a Green New Deal working as an integral part of an overall structure of justice, peace, democracy, and ecological wisdom is vitally needed sooner rather than later."
We must act now by incorporating Green Party principles into a Real Green New Deal. Our planet cannot afford to wait.