Sierra Club: Gov. Murphy’s Approval Poll Dips- Needs to Keep His Word on Environment

According to a recent poll by Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics and Fairleigh Dickinson University, 43% of the people of New Jersey disapprove of Governor Phil Murphy’s performance. Disapproval ratings jumped by almost 50% since November’s Rutgers Poll.

“The recent poll reflects that people are getting frustrated with the Murphy administration for their lack of progress. It’s not a surprise that many people, including our members are disappointed on his lack of leadership on climate change, the environment, water, and many other issues.

Governor Murphy’s approval and disapproval ratings are close to what Christie’s and Corzine’s were at this period. Murphy hasn’t stepped forward to reverse Christie’s rollbacks or the environment issues- deal with threat to fossil fuel projects in NJ or moved forward aggressively to stop new fossil fuel projects in New Jersey,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “After 8 years of Christie we were hoping for Murphy to move quickly to reverse his rollbacks. It’s been over a year with Phil Murphy and there is pent up demand for action, especially on the environment.”

The Murphy Administration are still using Governor Christie’s weakened rules when it comes to protecting the environment. Christie’s attack on clean water included rollbacks to wetland protections, flood hazard protections, water quality planning and stream encroachment rules. DEP’s new stormwater rule has raised serious concerns to FEMA and environmental groups that will cause more flooding and pollution in New Jersey. DEP’s new guidance document regarding cleaning up contaminating groundwater also raises red flags to environmental groups.

“The people of New Jersey are frustrated when they see that the Murphy Administration is still using Christie rules. For example, DEP’s proposed stormwater management rule is a continuation of Christie’s rollbacks on wetlands, flood hazard, and stormwater that does not protect stream buffers or C1 streams. The Administration has taken a step forward by filing environmental lawsuits on polluters like DuPont, but their new proposed guidance rule on contaminated groundwater will undermine that progress and will allow polluters off the hook,” said Tittel. “DEP still need to move forward on making strict standards for PFOAs, PFOs, and dozens of toxic chemicals in our environment.”

New Jersey has more than a dozen proposed fossil fuel projects that have met strong opposition from environmental groups, legislators, and local officials, however Murphy has yet to take action.

“The Governor has time to improve his approval ratings. In order to do that, he need to keep his word on the environment, our health, and other issues. He needs to move forward on clean water, clean air, renewable energy, and environmental justice communities. More importantly, he needs to put a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects so we can achieve his 100% renewable energy goals. Support for environmental issues is strong. Almost 80% in New Jersey people support strong action on climate change and 85% support action on clean water initiatives,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “By showing more leadership on this and many issues that Governor Murphy cares about, he will gain more support from the people of New Jersey and get the agenda done.”

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