Chris Christie says global warming is real. It’s just the very man-made government programs to correct its effects that are bloated and flawed.
The Republican New Jersey governor launched into an explanation Thursday for why he’s bowing out of a landmark regional cap-and-trade program for power plants, according to Politico
, but he first strapped on his layman scientist’s cap to give a brief overview of what’s widely considered accepted climate science.
His decision to leave the program, known as the RGGI, drew quick praise from conservative groups, including the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, that have long lobbied him to abandon the RGGI ship.
“In the past I’ve always said that climate change is real and it’s impacting our state,” Christie said at the start of a 14-minute prepared statement. “There’s undeniable data that CO2 levels and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing. This decade, average temperatures have been rising. Temperature changes are affecting weather patterns and our climate.”
Christie pulled the Garden State out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative following a 16-month internal review that included town hall meetings and private chats with climate scientists, academics and environmentalists.
"I’m certainly not a scientist, which is the first problem," he said. "So I can’t claim to fully understand all of this, certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts."
But the RGGI hasn't done the job when it comes to curbing greenhouse gases, Christie said, according to Politico.
RGGI emission allowances have not reached the $20-to-$30-per-ton threshold many experts say is needed to get energy producers to switch to lower-carbon fuels. Meanwhile, New Jersey is already on a path to meet its 2020 goals for reducing greenhouse gases without participating in the cap-and-trade program, which includes nine other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
Addressing the state's green voters Thursday, Christie also announced new programs for energy efficiency, offshore wind and solar panels, as well as a moratorium on new coal plant permits.
"We have an obligation to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and we’re going to do it in the concrete ways that I’ve laid out here today," he said. "We’re not going to do it by participating in gimmicky programs that haven’t worked. And, you know, in the end, our view is it’s better to do things the right way than to do things the politically correct way.”
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