New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is making the environment a top priority in Trenton.

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PANEL OKS SPENDING BILL THAT BOOSTS ROLE OF NONPROFITS IN PRESERVATION PROJECTS

Lawmakers appear to have settled on a mechanism for allocating constitutionally dedicated funds to preserve open space, farmland, and historic structures for the next fiscal year and beyond.

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Climate change in NJ: Grading Phil Murphy's first year

Inch by inch, over the next several decades, the Atlantic Ocean is going to claim more of the barrier islands and low-lying coastal areas.

Monsoon-like rainstorms will become more commonplace, as will heat waves in the summer. The Pinelands will be under attack by tree-killing bugs from the South and commercial fishermen will have to adapt to hunting new species of fish

This is how climate change will manifest in New Jersey, a reality that Gov. Phil Murphy, unlike his predecessor, acknowledges and has pledged to both resist and prepare for.

"Unless we do more (to counter climate change), the question isn’t whether we’ll see another superstorm like Sandy, but simply a question of when,” Murphy said during a speech in Highlands two weeks after his inauguration. “As the densest state in the nation, we can ill afford to keep our heads in the sand when it comes to climate change.“

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Murphy sets sights on business tax breaks in State of the State

But League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Ed Potosnak defended Murphy’s first-year record.

“Our state has made huge strides to turn back the hands of time on the toxic legacy of the Christie administration,” Potosnak said, by advancing clean energy and environmental justice.

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Leaders, Legislators React To Governor Murphy’s 2019 State Of The State Address

Various organizations, leaders, and legislators weighed in on Governor Murphy’s 2019 State of the State address (read the speech and watch the live stream here):

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HAS MURPHY MADE GOOD ON HIS PROMISES? TAKING STOCK AT THE 1-YEAR MARK

“The governor’s first year has been a whirlwind of pro-environmental actions and commitments to conservation, including creating 100,000 jobs in energy efficiency, reversing rollbacks such as the Highlands Septic Density rule, standing up to polluters and developers, and making sweeping changes at the DEP that puts science-based decision making a top priority,” said Ed Potosnak, the fund’s executive director, who gave the Murphy administration a B+.

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Green groups give Murphy mixed scores after his first year in office

Two influential environmental groups gave Gov. Phil Murphy mixed reviews for his first year in Trenton, but both agreed the progress he initially made on key environmental issues has declined since his first 100 days in office.

The New Jersey Sierra Club issued a scathing scorecard on Monday, giving the Democratic governor a “D” for what it said was a “a lack of leadership on many key issues.” Murphy fared better last week with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, which gave him a “B+” for enacting “a whirlwind of pro-environmental actions and commitments to conservation.”

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Coastal Congress members move to ban offshore drilling

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Seven members of the House of Representatives, including New Jersey’s Frank Pallone, D-6th, said Tuesday they will introduce legislation to block the Trump administration from expanding offshore drilling for gas and oil.

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GREEN GROUPS: PROPOSED OVERHAUL OF STORMWATER RULES DOESN’T GO FAR ENOUGH

The state is proposing to overhaul one of the most contentious rules adopted by the Christie administration, but critics say it falls short in dealing with the single biggest problem impairing New Jersey’s waters — stormwater runoff.

The proposal, the first major regulation offered by the state Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Phil Murphy, mostly amends rules involving stormwater management, an issue often blamed for increasing the risk of flooding and threatening water quality.

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Worry Wards: How might environmental anxiety impact the midterm elections?

Earlier this fall, the world’s top climate scientists gave humanity about 10 years to avoid a future that really sucks. With the midterm elections right around the corner, that warning means voters are effectively deciding which candidates to trust with the keys to the climate. If voters are sufficiently worried about warming, that anxiety might help determine who is put in office.

According to Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, worry is a stronger predictor of policy support than other emotions. “We found that it’s not fear, it’s not anger, and it’s not disgust or guilt,” he explained. “Worry doesn’t hijack, doesn’t overwhelm, rationality. It can really spur it.”

So just how worried about the planet’s future are voters in the nation’s tightest congressional races? Grist created a map overlaying competitive elections, as identified by The Cook Political Report, with climate concern data from Yale’s 2018 Climate Opinion Maps.

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Senate passes ban on fracking waste in NJ

TRENTON _ The State Senate voted Monday 30-5 to pass a bill banning fracking waste in the state.

If it becomes law, New Jersey would become the second state in the nation to ban fracking waste and the first state in the Delaware River basin to do so.

There is an imminent need for such a law, environmentalists said. Another law passed this summer created a loophole for the Chemours/DuPont Chamber Works facility in Salem County to seek DEP approval to begin importing hazardous waste from other states.

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