December 16, 2019

Contact: Ed Potosnak
C: (732) 991-7574

New Jersey LCV Releases 2020-2021 Common Agenda for the Environment

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey League of Conservation Voters released its Common Agenda for the Environment for the 2020-2021 Legislative Session to make clear the group’s top environmental priorities in the state of New Jersey.

“In partnership with the most environmentally productive legislature in over a decade and the pro-conservation Murphy Administration, New Jersey LCV is proud of what we’ve been able to achieve this past legislative session,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “With the help of the support from our members, volunteers, and partners, we were able to accomplish all three of our top legislative priorities for this cycle – so we added a 4th, which made this the most environmentally productive New Jersey legislature in over a decade. Our most notable legislative wins include the landmark ‘Clean Renewable Energy Bill’, the bipartisan ‘Clean Stormwater and Flood Reduction Act’, the nation-leading ‘Preserve New Jersey Act’, and lastly, the updated ‘Global Warming Response Act’.”

“Bold action to reduce pollution, improve public health, and clean up New Jersey toxic legacy is required and we are up for this challenge,” said Senator Bob Smith, Chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “New Jersey LCV is helping us make a cleaner and greener garden state and I am proud of what we have accomplished together and the opportunities that lie ahead to make New Jersey the Greenest State in America.” 

“New Jersey residents are depending on us to ensure our precious natural resources are protected and available to future generations,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, Chair of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee. “We will continue, in 2020, to build on the tremendous progress that we have made to safe-guard the environment of New Jersey, in addition to the well-being of our residents. The climate crisis we are facing necessitates us to take bold actions and make strong policy decisions. I will remain steadfast in my commitment to the health and safety of all New Jerseyans.”

"It is paramount that we make strides in protecting the environment in New Jersey,” said Senator Linda Greenstein, Vice-Chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “We are the first line of defense in fighting the adverse effects of climate change and I am proud to say that the priorities laid out by NJLCV and their partners are some of the strongest in the country. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure a greener, better future for New Jersey"

“We are truly grateful to our partners in the legislature for their commitment and hard work to make the current legislature the greenest in over a decade and look forward to continuing to work together to advance much needed protections,” said Julia Somers, Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition and Board Chair of New Jersey LCV.

New Jersey LCV will continue to build off the momentum and success of the past legislative session by putting the full force its members, political power, and financial resources to advance a new set of priorities over the next two years. For the 2020-2021 legislative session, these priorities are:

  • Achieving our 100% Clean Energy Future
  • Modernizing our Transportation Sector
  • Reducing Pollution in Environmental Justice Communities
  • Protecting our Clean Water through Chemical Safety Reform
  • Prioritizing Land and Park Preservation

These objectives will be met through a number of different avenues and aim to improve public health, protect the natural beauty of our state, combat climate change, prioritize environmental justice, and lay the foundations for sustainable economic growth. The agenda was developed in consultation with over 25 partners including environmental, civic, justice, and business organizations, as well as feedback from over 420 members of New Jersey LCV. The result of this cooperation is an agenda representing a diverse cross-section of New Jersey conservation leaders and concerned citizens. 

Potosnak continued, “This is the boldest agenda we have ever launched and we will need everyone’s help to overcome for-profit polluting interests, but with the amazing bipartisan track record of the legislature and Governor Murphy’s pro-conversation record, we see a unique opportunity to continue to deliver environmental protections our families and businesses will benefit from for generations.” 

“Governor Murphy’s massive offshore wind commitment last month demonstrated exactly how states continue leading on climate solutions despite President Trump’s giveaways to polluters,” said Bill Holland, State Policy Director for LCV. “With 1 in 4 Americans living in places committed to 100% clean energy, New Jersey faces a historic opportunity to join the growing list of states and cities committed to bold climate solutions that protect their residents from harmful air pollution.”

Commenting on New Jersey LCV’s priority to modernize New Jersey’s transportation sector, Pam Frank, CEO of ChargEVC stated, “If you are looking around for the biggest carbon bang for the buck, it would be moving around in something that is powered by electricity instead of fossil fuels. We have carbon reduction goals but no way to reach those goals without ACTION. The ACTION needed is to pass S2252/A4819. The bill ensures rebates to make electric cars more accessible for more people, ensures infrastructure to charge the cars, and puts NJ Transit is on a path to electrification.”

“New Jersey LCV works with many stakeholders and partners to accomplish they’re shared goals,” said Jennifer Coffey, Executive Director of ANJEC. “Plastic pollution is a threat to human health, drinking water, and wildlife. According to the World Economic Forum if we keep using plastic the way we are, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish, measured by weight. This is not a future we want to leave for our children. This is why ANJEC is excited that the New Jersey LCV have added a single-use plastics and paper bag ban to their 2020/2021 Legislative Agenda, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to make this critical legislation a reality in New Jersey."

“New Jerseyans overwhelmingly support clean energy over dirty fossil fuels and Gov. Murphy’s commitment to 100% clean energy by 2050,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Rethink Energy NJ. “New Jersey Conservation Foundation is very pleased that the NJLCV has prioritized getting this commitment into law in its legislative agenda for next year and we look forward to working with them to accomplish this.” 

“As the public continues to see the whittling of federal environmental protections, New Jersey needs to be even more of a leader on critical environmental issues such as the pervasive problem of plastics, the eroding of our shoreline, and climate change impacts on critical habitats,” said Jaclyn Rhoads, Assistant Executive Director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. “As an example, increased staffing and funding for the Green Acres Program is critical to prioritize land acquisitions that will benefit critical habitats that may be impacted by climate change. Connecting habitats in the Pinelands to places further north is necessary to allow wildlife to migrate as the climate modifies the landscape. Thanks to New Jersey LCV for outlining next steps to deal with these problems in the new year.”  

“The health, safety, and energy needs of low-income and environmental justice communities are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” said Katarina Miguel, Clean Energy Advocate at Isles. “As we continue to build energy efficient and lead-free homes, we look forward to working with New Jersey LCV to making sure these communities are prioritized by our state leaders.”

"Neonicotinoids (neonics) are systemic insecticides which research has illuminated are a leading cause of the massive declines in bee populations vital to agricultural production and seriously harm other species fundamental to healthy natural ecosystems, such as aquatic invertebrates. Additionally, these substances are proving toxic to birds and have possible impacts on human health," said Drew Tompkins, Director of Policy for New Jersey Audubon. "Given all the available data, the time is now for New Jersey to follow the example of the European Union and states like Maryland and Connecticut that have already taken steps to protect our natural resources by increasing regulations on neonics. We are excited that the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters has added classifying neonics as a restricted use pesticide and banning Chlorpyrifos, another dangerous pesticide to their 2020/2021 Legislative Agenda and we look forward to continuing to work with them to make this critical legislation a reality."

“With an appropriate mix of solutions, NJ can achieve 100% clean energy by 2050. Implementing appliance standards in New Jersey will not only accelerate clean energy goals, but also lower energy costs to NJ residents and businesses,” said Trina Mallik, Climate Change and Energy Policy Manager at The Nature Conservancy – New Jersey Chapter. “Projections show that by 2025, savings from new standards could equal the electricity used by 64,000 NJ homes, natural gas consumption of nearly 28,000 NJ homes, water consumption of 74,000 NJ homes, and emissions from about 69,000 cars for a year. These environmental savings equate to $176 million less in energy bills. These savings grow to $362 million annually by 2035. The Nature Conservancy is looking forward to working with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters on achieving appliance standards in NJ in 2020.”

"When Governor Murphy committed to 100% clean energy by 2050, he added New Jersey to an elite group of states leading the fight against the climate crisis," said Pari Kasotia, Mid-Atlantic Director at Vote Solar. "But there are many ways to get to 100%, and New Jersey must take decisive action in 2020 to ensure a just and equitable transition. Codifying New Jersey's commitment to 100% and creating an inclusive policy pathway to get there will ensure that all New Jerseyans benefit from Governor Murphy's bold leadership."

"New Jersey can be on the forefront of expanding its clean energy economy by updating its appliance efficiency standards for the first time since 2005,” said Marianne DiMascio, State Policy Director at Appliance Standards Awareness Project. “State standards would reduce CO2 emissions, save consumers money on utility bills, and reduce energy use equivalent to 1.8% of NJ residential electricity consumption. This cost-effective climate and energy policy are a win-win for New Jersey and a perfect opportunity for the state to take the lead regionally."

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to
elect environmental champions, hold public officials accountable, and support laws which
protect our environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.