A Bit of Good News for a Change

S-981 Electronics Recycling BillOn January 9, the Governor, in a complete surprise to all parties, signed S-981, the electronics recycling bill that has been passed, pocket vetoed and passed again.

This bill, now P.L. 2016-85 clearly makes the manufacturers of certain electronic devices, responsible for the cost of their recycling. It is a true producer responsibility law.

The signing of this bill is a good example of what can be accomplished when people engage in a democracy. Individual citizens, towns and counties united to send letters, pass resolutions and inundate the Governor’s office with encouragement to sign the bill. DEMOCRACY DOES WORK…

I have waited to write about this because as in many laws, the devil is in the details. The key here is what the NJDEP will do to implement the law. This is still a question.

My primary concern is that the manufacturers will try to undermine the law by trying to continue to underpay for the recycling service then cry to the legislature that they tried to make it work, but couldn’t. DEP has the tools to stop this, and I trust that they will do so.

We shall wait and see…but this is a good first step.

Read the full article:
PREVENTING THE E-WASTE STREAM FROM BECOMING A FLOOD

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Why Bother with Science When Politics Will Do?

environmental protection agencyThe AP has reported that, and this says so much…”the Trump Administration is mandating that any studies or data from scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public.”

Am I the only one who sees a problem here? I don’t think so.

I understand that in the end it is political appointees that set policy. But this level of restriction is the highest that has ever been imposed on the EPA.

My favorite order of the administration is that the EPA has been told to strip mention of climate change from the EPA website. REALLY!!!???? Why not…an ignorant population can’t complain about facts that they are not given. Better yet, let’s simply give out Alternative Facts…(Tired of this phrase…I hope so..)

The prior administration in Canada forbid staff from even using the term Climate Change. Yes, not using the words will certainly help stop Climate Change from happening.

Read the full article:
Trump political team will review all EPA science

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Pinelands Pipeline a Mistake

When four Governors from different parties, and three former officials of an agency warn that the decision being contemplated to allow for a new gas pipeline through the Pinelands is a mistake, why would the sitting commissioners and staff ignore their input?

south jersey gas

The answer is fairly clear, the Pinelands Commission has been Gerrymandered by the Governor to allow one company, South Jersey Gas, to profit at the expense of everything else.

The issue is less about whether the pipeline is safe, that is, that it will leak, than it is the dangerous precedent that it sets for undoing four decades of protection for a globally recognized treasure; the New Jersey Pinelands. It is also about a dangerous trend that is rampant as of January 20 of this year about disregarding the facts for quick profits.

While I agree that natural gas is a better fuel than coal or oil and that a power plant conversion is beneficial to the goal of cleaner air, it is the adulteration of the process and the blatant disregard of all the facts that makes this power play so sad.

There is still a hope that this can be defeated, but a slim hope.

Read the full articles:
Former Pinelands officials declare opposition to pipeline project
PINELANDS COMMISSION PUSHES ON WITH SOUTH JERSEY NATURAL-GAS LINE
A conversation with former Gov. Jim Florio

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Controversial Pipelines Approved: Or Let’s Ignore the Facts

Mr. Trump has reopened the controversial Keystone and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

I have written on the Keystone Pipeline before and noted that it may not be as bad environmentally as proposed. However, there are certainly serious concerns that have been raised regarding this pipeline that need to be considered and of course, will now be ignored.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a different situation. The fight is less over the pipeline, than its route. But as they say in the Whitehouse today, Dam the facts, full speed ahead.

dakota access pipeline oil spillWhen we see the impact of pipeline leaks, see the related article, why aren’t we more concerned about their routes?

As a last point, both pipelines have been touted as a means of increasing U.S. energy security.

That same claim was made about the Alaskan Oil Pipeline…yet, most of that oil was sold overseas for increased profit.

As we have continued to improve our energy efficiency, we have reduced our dependence on foreign oil. We have indeed increased output in the U.S. as well, but by reducing demand, we have a much greater impact on the need for more oil.

The only winners in this decision or oil companies.

Read the full articles:
Trump clears way for controversial oil pipelines
Canada oil pipeline spills 200,000 liters on aboriginal land

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