Sierra Club stories from the front lines

Jersey City Residents Speak Out for Climate Action

Jersey City climate action

More than 100 people turned out at an event in Jersey City, NJ, Tuesday night to support the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon pollution safeguards.

The gathering at New Jersey City University featured a screening of the popular Showtime documentary "Years of Living Dangerously" and remarks from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

"Jersey City residents turned out in big numbers to hear Mayor Fulop talk about his support for climate action and to show their support for the carbon standard," said Christine Guhl, a Beyond Coal organizer in New Jersey. "This really highlighted the strong support New Jersey residents and students have for cutting carbon pollution."

Last week, the EPA announced the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. The new standard, which is the key component of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, will start cleaning up dangerous air pollution from power plants, the industry that creates the lion's share of carbon pollution in the United States. Carbon pollution is the leading cause of climate disruption, contributing to extreme heat, flooding and superstorms in New Jersey and throughout the nation.

Guhl said the carbon standards are of particular concern to Jersey City residents because the area was hard hit by Superstorm Sandy, is especially vulnerable to storm surges and flooding due to climate disruption, and is home to one of the state's last coal plants.
Mayor Fulop and activists
"We know first-hand in Jersey City the effects that climate disruption has had on our community and we commend President Obama and the EPA for this important proposal," said Mayor Fulop, pictured above with local activists.  “Policies that require these industries to reduce carbon pollution will not only benefit the health and well-being of our residents, they will have lasting impact for generations to come."

A great team of volunteers helped make Tuesday's event such a success, and Guhl highlighted the very hard work of local volunteer leader Christine Wiltanger. "She tirelessly tabled and petitioned and recruited and led other volunteers to do the same.  She is champ and we are so lucky to have her on our team."

Guhl says the Jersey City residents and people from around the state are calling on Governor Chris Christie to support EPA's carbon standards. "Last night's attendees have been calling the Governor's office all day to tell him to take action on climate change for New Jersey."
The Hudson County Clean Energy Tabling Team
The new safeguards will not only protect health and communities nationwide, but also spur innovation and strengthen the economy. Guhl says they will continue to call on officials to take action on climate and invest in clean energy because it will create tens of thousands of local jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment in New Jersey.