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"South Jersey is already dealing with the effects of climate change and residents' health is threatened by out-of-state pollution. Congress should stop attacking proposals to mitigate these threats. Congressman LoBiondo understands the importance of protecting the health of New Jersey's families and businesses and we look forward to working with him" - Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters and Ed Potosnak, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters...

More at: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/opinion/letters/voice-of-the-people-july/article_5c6218bb-170a-560c-8171-7dc047cb4d36.html 
 
 
By Melissa Bilecky

Jersey City officials are aiming to make city buildings more energy-efficient by implementing energy audits every three years, the city announced yesterday.

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"We can't wait to take action on climate change and in Jersey City we are developing real solutions and a definitive road map to reduce our carbon footprint," Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said. "Financial audits are done every three years to ensure sound business practices, and we will use that model to track progress of our energy reduction at the municipal level to create accountability and maximize costs and efficiency."

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"Cities like Jersey City can provide the climate and environmental leadership currently lacking in Trenton," Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement. "Jersey City is taking bold action to reduce energy use, grow New Jersey's clean energy economy and mitigate climate change — setting a clear example of what's possible when municipalities make addressing climate change a priority. 

"We are thrilled to see action on climate at the local level and are hopeful more towns join this important effort."

The City Council is expected to mull a package of energy bills that include mandating energy audits of city buildings every three years; and a resolution to increase the use of renewable energy to 80 percent of the city's total energy consumption by the year 2050.

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"Climate change is already impacting important waterfront communities like Jersey City," Judith A. Enck, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator, said in a statement. "The Environmental Protection Agency applauds the amazing leadership of Jersey City in driving down greenhouse gas pollution. This leadership will improve not only the environment but also the economy for the people of Jersey City."

Full article at: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/06/jersey_city_aims_to_become_green-er_with_city_ener.html#incart_river

 
 

Package of Jersey City Bills Calls for Energy Audit on a Three-Year Basis to Create Accountability and Set a Goal of Increasing Renewable Energy Use; Jersey City Legislation to be a Model for Municipalities around NJ to Address Climate Change 

JERSEY CITY - Underscoring their commitment to sustainability, Mayor Steven M. Fulop and At-Large Councilman Daniel Rivera, along with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, announced today a long-term plan to reduce Jersey City's carbon footprint that paves a path for Jersey City to become America's greenest city. The new legislation, which calls for energy audits on a three-year basis, will create accountability and set aggressive goals to reduce energy consumption, serving as a model for municipalities across New Jersey

"We can't wait to take action on climate change and in Jersey City we are developing real solutions and a definitive road map to reduce our carbon footprint," said Mayor Fulop. "Financial audits are done every three years to ensure sound business practices, and we will use that model to track progress of our energy reduction at the municipal level to create accountability and maximize costs and efficiency. As one of the most densely populated cities in the nation, we must be leaders on sustainability." 

Being presented to the City Council at its meeting this week is the following package of energy bills: 

  1. An ordinance creating a new chapter of the municipal code mandating energy audits of city buildings every three years to create accountability and to identify what energy conservation measures can be implemented to maximize energy savings and energy efficiency 

  2. A resolution to reduce the city's carbon footprint over the long-term, specifically by increasing the use of renewable energy to 80 percent of the city's total energy consumption by 2050 

  3. A resolution authorizing environmental firm Greener By Design to conduct an initial energy audit of all city buildings (specifically a municipal carbon and greenhouse gas footprint analysis) 

"Cities like Jersey City can provide the climate and environmental leadership currently lacking in Trenton," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. "Hurricanes Sandy and Irene demonstrated how much of New Jersey's population is vulnerable to rising sea levels and more frequent and intense storms. Jersey City is taking bold action to reduce energy use, grow New Jersey's clean energy economy and mitigate climate change - setting a clear example of what's possible when municipalities make addressing climate change a priority. We are thrilled to see action on climate at the local level and are hopeful more towns join this important effort." 

The legislation also sets a goal of purchasing at least 50 percent of the City's energy from renewable sources and the installation of renewable energy technologies on city facilities where feasible. The administration will also work to incentivize the use of renewable energy purchases for residents and businesses, as well as the incentivizing the installation of solar technology by easing the permitting process.

"We are taking steps in Jersey City to create ways for our residents, business owners and builders to use renewable energy and create a more sustainable city for generations to come," said Councilman Rivera. "With these goals and incentives, we are not only providing ways for the community to use renewable energy sources, but we are also leading by example." 

Jersey City is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surges from increased and more intense storms due to climate change, as was seen during Hurricane Sandy. The estimated cost from Hurricane Sandy to Jersey City municipal buildings alone was $10 million, with additional tens of millions of dollars of damages to private property and more than $38 million in lost wages to Jersey City residents.

Under Mayor Fulop, Jersey City has been named the tenth greenest city in America by financial website NerdWallet.com, has invested more than $6 million in parks improvements and is currently building the largest municipal park in the city's history in the heart of the city, as part of a brownfield to greenfield transformation. Jersey City has also expanded the use of solar energy and is helping to cut energy waste with over 50 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) construction projects and LEED training for City employees.

Examples of the City's commitment to energy efficiency include the new DPW facility on Linden Avenue which was built to LEED standards and features on-site solar power generation; the new West District Police Station, to open in the coming weeks, featuring a green roof, green power from renewable sources, and built with recycled and sustainable materials; and the Public Safety Communications Center on Bishop Street that was built with sustainable materials incorporated into a high efficiency design aimed at both water reduction and energy savings.

The Fulop Administration has worked to further the walking and mass transit culture of Jersey City, has installed more than 22 miles of bike lanes and is launching a bike share system that will connect with NYC's bike share system - the largest in the nation.

"The Jersey City Environmental Commission is proud to support Jersey City's leadership in mitigating the detrimental effects of climate change," said Gerald Nicholls, Chair of the Jersey City Environmental Commission. "The climate change resolution demonstrates Jersey City's commitment to the safety of its citizens and to the global community. Given the absence of initiatives by the State Legislature to deal with problems such as climate change, we hope the Mayor's leadership will catalyze similar resolutions and ordinances by other forward-thinking municipalities."

With the right policies in place at local, state, and federal level, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that America can produce most of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050, using technologies such as wind turbines, solar power, biopower, geothermal, and hydropower.

The benefits of renewable energy are many, including reducing global warming emissions, improving public health, and creating jobs and other economic benefits. 

"Climate change is already impacting important waterfront communities like Jersey City," said Judith A. Enck, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator. "The Environmental Protection Agency applauds the amazing leadership of Jersey City in driving down greenhouse gas pollution. This leadership will improve not only the environment but also the economy for the people of Jersey City." 

All media inquiries should be directed to Jennifer Morrill, Press Secretary to Mayor Steven M. Fulop at 201-547- 4836 or 201-376-0699.//// 

Original Release can be found here: 

http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/uploadedFiles/Public_Notices/Press_Releases/Energy%20Initiatives%20Press%20Release%20(1).pdf 
 
 

Environmentalists, local officials dismiss proposed pact

by Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
City, county, and environmental officials have greeted the state’s posting of the proposed $225 million cleanup settlement with the Exxon Mobil Corporation the same way they dealt with it six weeks ago: with disillusionment, concern, and even “horror.”

The settlement, for the decades of pollution at the Bayonne and Linden “Bayway” sites, was first reported by The New York Times in late February. The state was originally seeking up to $8.9 billion to clean up and then restore the wetlands in the two cities, but is now willing to settle for $225 million. The legal fight over the cleanup of the two former industrial sites has been going on for more than a decade.
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“Chris Christie is letting ExxonMobil off the hook for nearly $9 billion it owes for polluting wetlands and waters in North Jersey,” said Executive Director Ed Potosnak. “Instead of making Exxon pay to restore these environmentally sensitive areas, Christie cut a deal with Exxon.”

Potosnak said that in addition to the cleanups at the Bayonne and Linden sites, Exxon Mobil should pay the bill for returning wildlife habitats and water quality to what they once were. 

“Christie's settlement is letting Exxon off the hook for restoring the environment that includes dozens of other sites not part of the original lawsuit,” he added. 

The league urged stakeholders to send comments to the Christie administration voicing their opposition to the deal. [You can send comments to the DEP here]
...

Read more:  Hudson Reporter - Exxon Mobil agreement horrific Environmentalists local officials dismiss proposed pact 
 
 
Congratulations to Congresswoman-elect Bonnie Watson Coleman on her election (“Watson Coleman earns historic win,” Nov. 5). She will be a champion on environmental issues and a leader in calling for action on climate change.

In the New Jersey General Assembly, Watson Coleman worked tirelessly to protect New Jersey’s environment and make the state a leader in energy efficiency. She helped to safeguard the state’s environment by securing funding for the Green Acres and Blue Acres Floodplain Acquisition programs. Her leadership and experience will be a welcome addition to Congress.

-- Ed Potosnak and Gene Karpinski,
Trenton
The writers are, respectively, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters and president of the League of Conservation Voters.



Original at: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/11/letter_in_congress_watson_coleman_will_lead_on_climate_change.html
 
 
Englewood Cliffs, NJ- This year, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV) Political Action Committee (PAC) made it clear that it is willing to make the tough choices and challenge incumbent elected officials who turn their backs on the environment.  
 
In 2014, the NJLCV PAC engaged voters in Englewood Cliffs to educate them about the anti-environmental record of Gloria Oh, a councilwoman seeking re-election.  
 
As a member of the municipal council, Oh voted to create a high-rise zone in Englewood Cliffs, was the only member of the council to vote against allowing residents to repeal the enactment of the high-rise zone, and supports LG's plan to build a high-rise corporate headquarters in the Palisades.  
 
After NJLCV PAC generated awareness and interest in Oh's record on the environment, she told the Record that she did not support any additional high-rise development, a departure from her previous position.

Oh was re-elected to the municipal council.

"Clearly, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is willing and able to marshall our resources in defense of the environment," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.  "While Oh was re-elected, she obviously recognized the need to moderate her earlier position on high-rise development, which we consider a victory.  Elected officials across New Jersey should take notice.  We intend to continue this type of electoral engagement in 2015 and beyond, holding elected officials accountable and making sure their constituents know when they turn their backs on the environment."

Paid for by the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Political Action Committee
 
 
 
Trenton, NJ- This Fall, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV) and NJLCV Education Fund, the affiliated 501 c(3) organization, invested significant time, energy, and resources to reach out to voters about Public Question 2.  Public Question 2 will dedicate existing corporate business tax revenues for land preservation and water quality improvement without raising taxes.  Funding will also be used to clean up polluted sites and improve the quality of rivers, lakes and drinking water sources around the Garden State.

Beyond its work in getting Public Question 2 on the ballot, NJLCV played an active role in the "Yes on 2" campaign led by "NJ Keep It Green," a diverse coalition of New Jersey organizations.  NJLCV worked to engage members and identify targeted voters, urging voters to support for Public Question 2 on November 4.

NJLCV Education Fund informed New Jersey's urban voters about Public Question 2.  As part of their urban voter activation program, NJLCV Education Fund invited nearly 60,000 Hispanic voters to join its live Spanish-language telephone town hall answering questions about Question 2, featuring Senator Bob Menendez and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. NJLCV Education Fund also ran a large "Get Out the Vote" program engaging more than 53,000 voters predominately in Newark, Jersey City, Trenton, and New Brunswick with door-to-door canvassing and bilingual phone banking.

"At the New Jersey LCV Education Fund, we believe that it is crucial for the environmental community to take an active role in educating and turning out voters, particularly in New Jersey's urban communities. We are very proud to help activate environmental voters and encourage civic participation.  This effort was groundbreaking for the environmental community and we are looking forward to building on the success of this program in next year's 2015 elections," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

In the past NJLCVEF has seen as much as half of urban voters drop off the ballot and ignore ballot question.  NJLCVEF's efforts to increase voter participation through outreach and eduction is critical to increasing public engagement on ballot questions.

"Passage of Question 2 will help ensure future generations have clean water to drink, clean air to breath and natural landscapes to enjoy.  We thank the voters of New Jersey for their continued support for protecting our natural resources," said Potosnak.

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NJLCV Nearly Triples Election Spending in 2014 on Public Question 2

Trenton, NJ- This year, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV) and NJLCV Education Fund, the affiliated 501 c(3) organization, invested significant time, energy, and resources in outreach to the public about Public Question 2.  

Public Question 2 would dedicate existing corporation business tax revenues for land preservation and water quality improvement without raising taxes. Funding would also be assigned to clean up polluted sites and improve the quality of rivers, lakes and drinking water sources around the Garden State.

Beyond its work in getting Public Question 2 on the ballot, NJLCV played an active role in the "Yes on 2" campaign led by "NJ Keep It Green," a diverse coalition of New Jersey organizations.  NJLCV worked to engage members and identify targeted voters, urging voters to support for Public Question 2 on November 4.

NJLCV Education Fund informed New Jersey's urban voters about Public Question 2.  As part of its urban voter activation program, NJLCV Education Fund invited nearly 60,000 Hispanic voters to join its live Spanish-language telephone town hall answering questions about Question 2, featuring Senator Bob Menendez and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. NJLCV Education Fund also ran a large Get Out the Vote program engaging more than 53,000 voters in Newark, Jersey City, and New Brunswick with door-to-door canvassing and bilingual phone banking.

"The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters takes pride in making sure the environment is a priority in Trenton," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.  "In 2014, we spent more than $125,000 to reach New Jersey voters in targeted urban communities and across the state and help them prepare to serve as citizen-legislators, determining our state's environmental future with their votes on Public Question 2."

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LCV Action Fund Endorses Roy Cho for Congress 

WASHINGTON, DC-The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, which works to elect candidates who will implement sound environmental policies, announced today its endorsement of Roy Cho for Congress (NJ-5). Cho will support commonsense policies that make America a leader in clean energy while working to protect our environment and natural resources for generations to come.

"Roy Cho recognizes that preserving our environment and growing our economy go hand-in-hand, which is why he will work to expand our clean energy economy," said LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski. "He will support commonsense approaches to protecting our natural resources and ensure that our air and water are clean."

"In Congress, Roy Cho will be a strong voice for the people of New Jersey and our environment," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. "He's prioritized reviving the much-needed Hudson River tunnel project that will increase transportation options, decrease air pollution and improve the quality of life for northern New Jersey residents. Cho is also dedicated to investing in green technologies and renewable energy that will enhance New Jersey's economy and natural landscapes, keeping our state a healthy and prosperous place for all New Jerseyans."  

"For us to move forward, we must recognize the links that bind our economic and environmental futures," said Cho. "Environmental stewardship goes far beyond protecting our clean air and water, and includes meeting our needs for the strong mass transit systems and clean energy alternatives that will create and support good jobs. For too long, our region has had a representative who has failed to see the importance of these larger issues. I thank the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund for supporting my campaign to bring common sense leadership back to northern New Jersey."

Cho will support commonsense solutions that conserve our open spaces and safeguard the air we breathe and the water we drink. He will work to create jobs and prepare students for our green economy by supporting investments in clean energy research and development. Cho also supports the EPA's Clean Power Plan, which will protect public health, decrease our dependence on dirty fossil fuels and reduce our carbon emissions.

Roy Cho is featured on LCV Action Fund's GiveGreen website, the only bundling website devoted exclusively to raising money for environmental champions and candidates.

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Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and authorized by Friends of Roy Cho Inc.

 
 
BY KIM LUEDDEKE
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS – A state environmental group has waded into the borough's already heated council election, accusing Democratic incumbent Gloria Oh of wanting to "destroy" Englewood Cliffs with high-rises and encouraging residents not to vote for her.

In the past week, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Political Action Committee has sent two fliers to residents criticizing Oh for her alleged support of high-rise development in Englewood Cliffs. The issue has been a hot-button topic in town, thanks to LG Electronics USA's plans to construct a 143-foot office building that critics say would be visible above the Palisades treeline.
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Read more: http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/conservation-group-targets-councilwoman-1.1115857
 

 New Jersey League of Conservation Voters