Contact: Anthony Campisi
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Leading Environmentalists Demand Marcal Paper Publicly Disavow and Oppose Bill to Allow Company to use Dirty Polluting Energy

  TRENTON – Leading environmental organizations have  written to Rob Baron, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marcal Paper, to express concerns about proposed New Jersey legislation (A5813/S3392) that exempts electricity sold to certain recovered materials manufacturing facilities from renewable energy portfolio standards in perpetuity. An exemption for Marcal would allow the company to run on dirty, polluting energy in perpetuity, a direct conflict with their public statements on sustainability.

In the letter, environmental advocates  explain New Jersey is taking concrete steps to transition to a 100% clean energy economy by 2035. This legislation is in direct conflict with that goal and will additionally negatively impact air quality in environmental justice communities, overwhelmingly low income communities of color, that already share a disproportionate burden of the health impacts of air pollution. These include increased incidents of asthma, heart attacks, and cancer.

“This legislation represents a disturbing corporate giveaway that locks in pollution that disproportionately impacts communities of color and other vulnerable populations,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.“Marcal should be ashamed of itself for pushing this dirty legislation. If the company continues to support this bill then its stated sustainability goal isn’t even worth the toilet paper it's written on – and worse yet, the bill will be throwing public health down the toilet bowl.

“At a time when lawmakers are considering legislation to put our state on the path to 100% clean energy by 2035, carve outs like this are unacceptable and send the message that companies can use backroom deals to avoid participating in our clean energy future. We’re calling on the Legislature to immediately drop consideration of this outrageous bill.”

The exemption for Marcal also goes against their written pledge regarding sustainability, which is listed on the company’s website as a commitment to “Environmental Sustainability”,  “protecting our most valuable resources,” and utilizing practices that avoid “long-term environmental consequences.” 

"The legislation to exempt Marcal from the renewable energy portfolio standards is legislative spot-zoning at its worst. Every company and ratepayer should play by the same rules, and no one company should be exempted -- especially a recycling facility -- from clean energy standards. One good mitzvah doesn't exempt a company from paying for clean energy, which helps us to tackle climate change and air pollution. We urge Senate President Scutari and Speaker Coughlin to stop this bill from being posted for a full vote in either house," said Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey.

“This bill is in direct conflict with New Jersey’s clean energy goals,” said Tom Gilbert, Rethink Energy NJ campaign director. “It would set a terrible precedent to exempt a company from meeting New Jersey's essential clean energy targets. The impacts of climate change are already being felt and we must do everything we can to speed up the transition to New Jersey’s clean energy future.”

“As a company that prides itself on their commitment to sustainability, we ask that Marcal live up to their word and walk the talk,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, New Jersey Sierra Club Chapter Director. “Exemption from clean energy portfolio standards in bill A5813 is a cop out and nearsighted, as New Jersey is full steam ahead for a clean energy future. Continuing to operate on dirty fuels is antithetical to Marcal’s goals, and we urge the company to reaffirm their commitment to the public and environmental health of New Jerseyans by opposing this legislation.”

The advocates urge lawmakers to vote against this carveout bill  and are calling on Marcal to publicly disavow the legislation and reaffirm its stated commitment to clean energy. Marcal should be leading the charge on sustainability, not benefiting from legislative special interests for dirty, polluting energy.