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Poll: Is the Garden State Still Committed to Being ‘Green’?

Cuts to environmental programs have become more the rule than the exception. What’s happened to NJ’s dedication to its air, water, and open spaces?

The state budget once again liberally trims environmental programs across the board -- nearly $141 million in clean-energy programs, spending at the Department of Environmental Protection, and officials dragging their feet on new initiatives, including offshore wind.

Is the environment no longer a priority in New Jersey?

  • Not at all. Extreme storms like Hurricane Sandy have lent urgency to concerns about global warming and the potential impact on a state with a 127-mile coastline and a history of urban flooding. Much of the state recognizes the need to transform to a cleaner energy future.

  • To some extent. The state has made steady progress over decades in cleaning up its polluted air and waterways -- even though much work remains to be done. The top priority ought to be ensuring that the economy continues to grow and prosper. Jobs are the most important issue.

  • Not as much as it should be. The easy problems are being addressed, but the state still must resolve many long-festering issues, like ending sprawl, developing open space and farmland, and protecting drinking water.

  • Yes. There have been repeated efforts to weaken the state’s stringent environmental regulations, including relaxing protections around stream corridors and allowing development in the Highlands, the source of drinking water for millions.

  • Obviously and it’s a real problem. New Jersey was once known for being aggressive in combatting air and water pollution, as well as sprawl. Now, anything goes, including gas pipelines throughout the state, raiding the Pinelands and Highlands due to business interests, and being unable to address the problems of global warming, which will eat up our shoreline.

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