Environment New Jersey has announced an aggressive new online advertising campaign to hold so-called “environment-friendly” state representatives accountable for their anti-environmental voting records. At issue are three representatives’ votes regarding a bill that would delay the clean up of toxic waste sites.
The House of Representatives approved the “TRAIN” Act, which would indefinitely delay the clean-up of toxic power plant pollution; another bill (H.R. 2681) that prevents clean air standards that lower mercury and other toxic air pollution from cement plants; and a bill (H.R. 2250) that would prevents standards to reduce toxic pollution from industrial incinerators and boilers at power plants.
The “TRAIN” Act alone, if passed, could result in 139,500 lives lost due to smog, soot, and toxic air pollution. In New Jersey, it could result in over 3,200 lives lost due to air pollution. The health benefits delivered by the incinerator and boiler standards are as high as $54 billion annually, and the health benefits from cement standards will be as high as $18 billion annually.
All of these bills were voted on the heels of an Environment New Jersey report, “Danger in the Air,” that found New Jersey’s air to be some of the smoggiest in the country. The findings included that the North Jersey metropolitan area, including New York and Connecticut, ranked as the 5th smoggiest metropolitan area in the country this past summer.
The three state congressmen specifically targeted by the ads are Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2) and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11). All three men claim to be friends of the environment, or at least boast of a moderate record on environmental issues, but their votes for the TRAIN Act prove otherwise.
Blue Jersey states the case best:
If one is going to position themselves as “reasonable about” or “sympathetic to” or “in favor of” making it harder to die from harmful toxins in our air, then bills like this should be no brainers to support. All three of these Representatives have at least attempted to demonstrate an interest in the very things they just voted against. If there was any issue that these three would get “a pass” on from the extreme right wing for their vote, it would be this one. The problem is that all three of them face uncertainty either in their bid for reelection or the prospect of losing their seat as a result of redistricting and therefore have to pander to the unreasonable and militant wing of their party.
Environment New Jersey’s online ad campaign will target the largest websites in the state of New Jersey, including the news site NJ.com. The campaign budget is in the 5-figure range, and will run for one week.