New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed legislation to preserve his state’s participation in a regional climate program on Friday. As he vetoed the bill (S. 2946), which would have blocked his decision to pull out of the successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Christie announced that he had been convinced by scientists that human-made climate change is a real threat. The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that he said “climate change is real“:
He added that “human activity plays a role in these changes” and that climate change is “impacting our state.”
“I can’t claim to fully understand all of this,” he said. “Certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it’s time to defer to the experts.”
He added that climate science is complex and “we know enough to know that we are at least part of the problem.”
Christie’s position on climate science is essentially the same as that of GOP presidential candidates and former governors Mitt Romney (“I believe that humans contribute“) and Jon Huntsman Jr. (“90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring”). All of these Republicans have supported regional cap-and-trade programs to reduce greenhouse pollution in the past, then flipped to opposing them with the rise of the Tea Party.
Christie is still not actually willing to accept the facts — it’s not just 90 percent of scientists, but 97 to 98 percent, who say that the threat of human-made climate change is real and merits urgent action. Like Romney and Huntsman, his words put him at odds with the anti-science zeal of the Tea Party, but his actions keep him perfectly aligned with their fossil-fuel paymasters.