Christie Stunner: NJ Gov Met With Pollutocrat Koch Before Pulling Out of Successful Carbon Pollution Reduction Program

In late May, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced he was pulling his state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, explaining that it was “not working.”  Now a stunning tape of a secret meeting between Christie and Charles Koch sheds light on the Governor’s inexplicable decision to abandon a program that was not only cutting pollution, but was funding clean energy and, as it turns out, reducing New Jersey’s budget gap.

David Koch, introducing Christie:  Five months ago we met in my New York City office and spoke — just the two of us — for about two hours on his objectives and successes in correcting many of the most serious problems of the New Jersey state government.  At the end of our conversation, I said to myself, “I’m really impressed and inspired by this man. He is my kind of guy.”

Koch is the biggest funder of climate disinformation in the country, a billionaire pollutocrat who pulls the string of the Tea Party, which in turn is driving the country to a ruined economy and an unlivable climate.  And Christie is his kind of guy.  You can see why they wanted to keep this behind closed doors.

Koch has more to say on his budding bromance:

Another example of Governor Christie’s commitment to the free enterprise system is that only a few weeks ago he announced that New Jersey would be withdrawing from the [Regional] Greenhouse Gas Initiative which is a [cheers and applause], which would have raised energy costs, reduced economic growth and led to very little, if any, benefit for the environment. [A ‘boo’ is heard.]

Yes, Christie showed his “commitment to the free enterprise system” by pulling out of a market-based system invented by Republicans and economists, championed by President George H. W. Bush, and originally supported at a regional level by GOP Governors like Pataki of New York.

At the time of Christie’s move, people monitoring RGGI were baffled. The program had raised tens of millions of dollars for clean energy projects without noticeably raising rates. But after acknowledging that climate change was real and then raiding $65 million from the program in order to close a budget gap, Christie actually had the gall to say the program was “gimmicky.”

But now the reasons for Christie’s awkwardly hypocritical stance on RGGI are becoming more clear. Perhaps the program wasn’t “working” for the Koch Brothers, the oil billionaires who have spent of millions of dollars trying to tear down cap and trade and any other programs related to clean energy?

Here’s the audio tape of Koch introducing Christie:

This is the first time that Christie’s participation in the Koch-funded retreat has been publicly reported. The trip, which was paid for by the New Jersey GOP, was never written in the governor’s public schedule.

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35 Responses to Christie Stunner: NJ Gov Met With Pollutocrat Koch Before Pulling Out of Successful Carbon Pollution Reduction Program

  1. Zimzone says:

    Kris Krispie knows where his bread is buttered.
    He can’t be Governor forever, but as a Koch[snip], he’ll be given a fat paycheck to be a Koch mouthpiece.

  2. Doug Bostrom says:

    So what did Christie get for dropping on bent knee for Koch?

    See, beyond the corruption aspect of deals like this, what kills me is how little these politicians get for trading in their reputations. Look at Ponzi Perry: a paltry $11 million from the fossil fuel industry, in exchange for publicly declaring himself a buffoon? That hardly seems like a fair deal at all.

  3. Dink Lane says:

    Thomas Paine “Common Cause” said: There are two (2) separate Tyrannies — Monarchy and ARISTOCRAT…

    They “are independent of the people…. the contribute NOTHING towards…freedom of the state.”

    Pres. Truman said June 14, 1951: “The welfare of our state is at risk. This is what the Communists have been hoping for…the collapsing of our economy.” Communists and radicalism FEEDS on an Aristocratic society… were the public carries the weight of government. “Government is suppose to PROTECT the public.”

  4. Michael Tucker says:

    The political situation has changed markedly since the days of either Bush. The new modern Republican Party has been reeducated by the fossil fuel industry. Whatever Republicans had previously supported with regard to GHG or even clean air and water has now changed. It does not matter what these two faced corporate sycophants might say about global climate disruption, they will not support any government regulation. But this is also what the Republican voters want too, even if they can’t go to the Chuck and Dave seminar. “Perhaps the program wasn’t working”…”trying to tear down cap’n trade”???
    NO environmental regulation will now ever be acceptable to a Koch Republican thrall. Cap’n trade is now dead and NO Koch Republican thrall will ever support any such legislation. Get over it. We are in the new days of legalized political corruption…thanks Supreme Court (now totally dominated by Koch Republican thralls).

  5. Doug Bostrom says:

    OT and feel free to delete, but JR should take a look at this excellent piece in the NYT, wherein historians demolish Perry’s doltish remarks about Galileo:

    Historian Says Perry Misses Point on Galileo and Climate Change

    “Galileo was not a doubter. He said, ‘Look, this is the evidence I have,’ ” he said. “It was the theologians who were saying ‘No, no, no, this evidence is inconclusive.’ ”

    Etc. Enough material to put the Galileo albatross to bed once and for all.

  6. MJ says:

    The issue with this is that people are surprised. This guys approval rating was in the tank, then what did he do?

    He supports the nomination of a Muslim judge, and he asks for aid for the people of his state after Irene….BOOM! He’s a hero.

    He lives is a state that has a large Muslim population and his people were suffering after the hurricane. These were both political moves, and nothing more.

    This guy is not a moderate. He is not an “outsider” in the GOP. He is a crooked politician.

    Keep falling for the little things he does, and we’re doomed.

  7. David Smith says:

    I was suprised by the news of the Koch brother’s successful influence here in Wake County, North Carolina school board election to bring change, to effectively re-segregate the public school system. There influence is broad and their interests are many.

  8. Kmich718 says:

    I think he got elected.

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Maybe they have designed a mind controlling device. Maybe Aliens are real after alL!!!1

    Why are there people who have declared war on mother nature?

  10. prokaryotes says:

    The Government should force businesses such as Koch Industries to switch to clean technologies.

    Hence, i bet they would still be one of the biggest companies in the world. In fact if they do not switch to clean technologies, they will go literally extinct. This is the next big thing, it is mandated by mother nature herself.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    A child from the Koch’s Brothers

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Just a first installment, Doug, just a down payment.

  13. Clay Commons says:

    Never liked cap ‘n’ trade – too complex. A simple carbon tax would be easier. But that, in the age of Grover Norquist, is a non-starter. And who voted for him?

  14. Michael Tucker says:

    Their goal is to reverse FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Civil Rights Act and his Great Society program and all the other social improvements, advances and reforms. Eliminated all government regulation of industry and repeal the Health Care bill. They would also really like to have the legal age of employment lowered, eliminate the minimum wage law, and destroy unions. It is a despicably onerous and far reaching agenda.

  15. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Democracy in any meaningful sense and capitalism are entirely antithetical. It takes only a small number of billionaire plutocrats to subvert the wishes of millions, simply by mobilising their money power. It’s a ‘one dollar, one vote’ system.

  16. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The planet is too cool for reptiles, at the moment.

  17. K B says:

    This program is/was a bad way to reduce emissions and has no requirements other than to buy credits and stuff government coffers to balance their budgets. All the partisan satirical comments here are sad and this website, just like the corporate media, does a disservice to everyone by not informing it’s readers of the exact nature and methodology of this program. These costs for credits would have been passed down to all consumers and been a burden and not improved air quality or reduced emissions one bit. I implore this author to write a non partisan piece on this program itself.

  18. Meagan Tompkins says:

    Their influence and interests are VERY broad and very many and if you research these two more, you will become very scared!

  19. otter17 says:

    The day when I realized that people with money held more sway with my elected representatives than I do was a sad day.

  20. Sasparilla says:

    Michael, I think you really said it here. This is a big change (not just climate change action is dead, but green energy is dead with the GOP at the federal level) – this probably warrants some serious reflection and an entire article on it and its future implications.

    Nothing green (not just climate change action) is going to happen with the GOP of today and the foreseeable future – it would appear green of any kind isn’t happening at the Federal level if the GOP has either of the two Houses.

    The amount of hurdles the GOP will have to get back through to make Green Energy and Climate Change non toxic to get through the primaries is very large…its hard to see how this boat gets turned around.

    As I mentioned before, if the GOP can sweep in 2012, I would expect them to kill all existing Federal clean energy support (Wind, Solar, Geothermal, plug-in vehicles you name it) as soon as they take control, in the name of budget savings. The GOP is now the dominion of the Koch’s and is a new paradigm for us all, unfortunately.

  21. otter17 says:

    Do enlighten us. In your own words, how does the program work? What specific loopholes allow government to fill its coffers? Any reference good references on the subject?

    I was under the impression that the credits were meant to increase the cost of products that are derived from fossil energy inputs. So long as that cost is introduced slowly, people have time to seek alternatives, and eventually the cost of fossil fuels more accurately reflects the true cost. Nevertheless, I would prefer a simple carbon tax to be phased in along with energy efficiency standards.

  22. Joan Savage says:

    Christie is a potential vice presidential candidate. After Palin, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

  23. John McCormick says:

    And, they are from the seed of a founder of the John Birch Society. If you really want to understand the direction the rethuglican party is taking this nation, read a bit about the early anti-communist rantings if its founder Robert Welch. Then, read some of the public speeches of guys like DeMint and you can’t tell one from the other.

    Folks, we think we are in a war with big fossil. Those companies are only the offensive line. The heirs to the Welch Birch Society are coach and quarterback.

    We thought the Birchers died when William F. Buckley wrote Welch off as a paranoid idiot. No, they live vibrant lives and will not be written off.

    The John Birch Society will eventually bury the last liberal because it has a hatred for us commies that cannot be silenced.

  24. dominique says:

    Wait a minute! The Kochs don’t have to win. They are n’t the only billionaires on the block. They’ve been smart. But it isn’t the end of the game.

    I find it very odd that everyone is bemoaning the end of green conservatism when, apart from the Paid Nutters up on the GOP stage, we heard from Huntsman language that sounded as though cap and trade was far from dead…Besides which, look at what is going on in cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago. People get it. Politicians get it. Climate chaos is upon us.

  25. MemphisBill says:

    I think Huntsman is dead last in Republican polls. I think for the present and near future the Kochs have won.

  26. MemphisBill says:

    Enlighten us.

  27. Michael Tucker says:

    It is important to actually listen to what Huntsman says. He has never, Never, mentioned any program to reduce GHG. He has never mentioned cap’n trade in any of his campaign speeches. He will offer no government solution. He is a “marketplace-solution” Republican. But he cannot possibly win the Republican primary. Not with today’s Republican Party.

  28. Chris Winter says:

    A book relevant to this discussion is Marjorie Kelly’s The Divine Right of Capital (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2001). Ms. Kelly is the cofounder and former publisher of the journal Business Ethics. Her book basically asks for three changes in corporate governance:

    1. Restore managerial capitalism, in which stockholder returns are not the corporations’ sole purpose.
    2. Give employees of corporations, who create the wealth, more of a share in the rewards of their work.
    3. Corporations are not people.

    My review:

  29. Jeffrey Davis says:

    You’ve got to see it from their point of view. As someone pining for political office, they’re vain duds with few marketable skills. Being a buffoon is a lateral move. Being a buffoon with perks, though, is a step up. None of these guys — Boehner, McConnell, Christie, etc — are powerful people. They’re all versions of Charlie McCarthy. (Or more accurately, Mortimer Snerd.)

    For you younguns here’s a Youtube Search: Mortimer Snerd

  30. Paul Magnus says:

    Didnt Koch also speak to perry before he went AWOL…

  31. Paul Magnus says:

    lots of snakes out and about round my neighborhood this summer…

  32. RYE says:

    Wow. Christie is gonna’ lose some mosweRW support on this one. More ordinary people are learning about the Koch brothers, and their wholesale purchase of America’s elected officials.

  33. Mike Roddy says:

    Christie represents the worst of East Coast slimeball politicians, in the tradition of Tony Rizzo, Rudy Giuliani, and Tammany himself.

    This is a world of posturing before the suckers, smelling out the loot, and planting their lips on the balls of people like Charles Koch and David Rockefeller. It’s really, really gross, and explains why so many Easterners have moved to the West.

    We don’t much care about politics out here, but at least that’s better than having to put up with people like Christie.

  34. Methuselah says:

    …And while you’re at it, do explain how it is possible that international cap-and-trade treaties have already worked incredibly well to reduce acid rain and repair the ozone layer (the Montreal Protocols) — at costs far, far less than predicted by industry.

  35. Bill Wolfe says:

    We were not so stunned.

    I wrote this back on march 28, 2011:

    Christie Bowing To Koch Brothers on RGGI