BlueWaveNJ’s environmental committee holds one of six steering committee seats for the coalition group EmpowerNJ, a leading progressive environmental advocacy group in the state. EmpowerNJ consists of 135 environmental, community and faith-based member groups. Through this coalition, we have helped shape the climate action narrative in New Jersey.
In 2022, our accomplishments included:
In conjunction with EmpowerNJ, we filed a legal petition demanding that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection set pre-2050 benchmarks for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as required by state law (the “30x50 Goal”). When NJDEP denied the petition and refused to set any benchmarks, we sued to overturn the decision. The lawsuit is currently pending.
EmpowerNJ filed pending legal petitions with the NJ Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to stop their $16 billion plan to expand the Turnpike and Parkway, to adequately fund public transportation and greenway projects, and to take into account climate change and environmental justice in their decision-making.
- We secured timely adoption of NJDEP Advanced Clean Truck and Greenhouse Gas Monitoring and Reporting rules.
PUBLIC OUTREACH AND ACTIVISM
EmpowerNJ organized several large public mobilizations and actions, including the March and Rally for Clean Air and Climate Justice in Trenton in June — the largest EmpowerNJ action ever, with more than 300 participants.
EmpowerNJ also organized the “Walk for Climate Justice,” a 50-mile walk and community rallies to stop all new fossil fuel projects in August.
We coordinated November’s Jersey City Bike and Rally against the Turnpike Extension expansion, and worked with the Turnpike Trap Coalition to galvanize opposition to the now $10.7 billion plan (over $1B per mile).
We continued to advocate for a moratorium of all new fossil fuel projects in the state, including NJ Transit’s plan to build a large gas-fired plant in the Meadowlands and a slew of new pipeline projects.
- The coalition supported environmental justice partners (Ironbound Community Corp., NJ Environmental Justice Alliance, South Ward Environmental Alliance, et al.) to delay the Passaic Valley Sewer Authority’s new dirty gas plant in Newark’s Ironbound.
RESEARCH AND TESTIMONY
Our coalition updated and published a report documenting an estimated 19% increase in climate emissions from completed fossil fuel projects, and a 38% additional increase in climate emissions from proposed projects.
- EmpowerNJ provided featured testimony before the NJ Senate Environment Committee — by both the steering committee (at the Earth Day Climate hearing on April 21) and by internationally renowned climate expert Professor Mark Jacobson (on June 13).