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U.S. States Begin Drastic Cuts In Global Warming Programmes

[New Jersey] Gov. Chris Christie is taking $65 million, the entire allocation, from the state’s global warming fund, and $5.9 million, from the toxic waste site cleanup program, to help close the over $10 billion deficit in his $29.3 billion 2010-11 state budget, the state environmental protection commissioner said Monday.

In discussing the Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed $380.6 million budget before the Assembly Budget Committee in Trenton, Commissioner Bob Martin said he hopes the loss of the $65 million, funding for the state’s role in a regional effort to combat global warming, will only be for one year. He told the committee that DEP staff will continue to attempt to work against global warming and so-called greenhouses gasses despite the lack of money.

Martin said while he does not anticipate that DEP employees will be among the 1,300 state workers Christie plans to layoff in January, the commissioner does intend to move to save $1.4 million at that time by reducing the workweek of employees, at least those in management, the state parks, and Highlands Permitting from 40 hours to 35 hours. […]

After the hearing, New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said the DEP budget is designed to dismantle many key environmental programs and cost the state so-called green jobs.

“Governor Christie has announced that he will cut money (the $65 million) for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and $68 million in programs funded by RGGI will be eliminated,” Tittel said.

RGGI, a compact with multiple states in the Northeast, was established to create programs that reduce the greenhouse gas footprint. Programs help pay for clean energy programs that reduce carbon and create jobs.

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