Initiatives to Acquire, Revive Abandoned Homes are Making Progress in New Jersey

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State Senate Works to Block Christie From Settling Pollution Lawsuit Against Exxon

The New Jersey Senate approved two measures on Monday contesting Gov. Chris Christie’s attempt to settle a pollution lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corporation for a fraction of the damages that the state had originally sought.

By a vote of 24 to 0, the Senate approved a resolution urging a judge to reject a proposed $225 million settlement in the case. The state had sought $8.9 billion in damages for restoration and for loss of use of the land by the public because of contamination caused by refineries in Bayonne and Linden.

The resolution urged the state to withdraw from the proposed settlement agreement because it is “inappropriate, improper and inadequate,” and called on the governor, a Republican, “to obtain maximum compensation possible” for the damages to wetlands and waterways.

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Christie Wants Three More Years to Get State Pension Program Fully Funded

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Christie, Defending Exxon Deal, Says Environmental Damage Will Be Repaired

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Chunk of New Jersey’s Money From Exxon Settlement Is to Go to Legal Fees

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Lawmakers condemn state’s $225 million Exxon settlement with SCR158

By Chase Brush | 03/09/15

PolitickerNJ

TRENTON — The Senate Environment and Energy Committee passed a senate resolution today condemning Gov. Chris Chrisite’s decision to settle with Exxon Mobil on a series of environmental damage lawsuits for pennies on the dollar.

SCR158, which “strongly urges” rejection of the proposed $225 million settlement in lawsuits brought by the state against Exxon for natural resource damages at Bayway, Bayonne and other New Jersey oil refineries and sites, is sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-21). Lesniak introduced the bill during the committee’s hearing this morning, calling the final $225 million settlement figure, which is billions of dollars short of the sought after $8.9 billion, “grossly inadequate.”

The setttlement — over a handful of lawsuits originally filed in 2004 by the DEP over contamination and loss of use of more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes, meadows and waters in North Jersey — has had lawmakers and state conservationists fuming over the last several days. Critics say the governor’s administration is letting the company off the hooks for billions that could otherwise be put toward restoration of contaminated sites in the state, and environmental activists who oppose the decision, like the New Jersey Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel, are calling it one of the “biggest corporate tax subsidy in state history.”

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Christie counsel behind controversial settlement had stake in ExxonMobil

By Ted Sherman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on March 05, 2015

Christopher Porrino, left, the governor's chief counsel, who was involved in negotiating the controversial settlement with ExxonMobil

 

TRENTON — The governor's chief counsel, who played a lead role in the settlement of an $8.9 billion environmental contamination lawsuit against ExxonMobil Corp. for pennies on the dollar, held an investment interest in the oil giant, records show.

According to the most recent financial disclosure forms filed with the State Ethics Commission, and reviewed by NJ Advance Media, Christopher Porrino — appointed by Gov. Chris Christie as his top legal adviser in December 2013 — owned shares of a mutual fund valued at more than $100,000.

ExxonMobil was the largest holding of the fund, representing nearly 5 percent of its assets.

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$225 Million Proposed Settlement in Exxon Mobil Case Continues to Draw Fire

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Shortchanging New Jersey by Billions

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Three Newark-Area Hospitals May Switch to Offering Only Outpatient Services

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