Baroni gains environmental endorsement
Federation cites assemblyman's opposition to Route 92 project
Trenton Times, Friday, October 05, 2007
BY RYAN TRACY
SOUTH BRUNSWICK -- Standing near the
proposed site of one of the most controversial road projects in state
history, Assemblyman and Republican state Senate candidate Bill Baroni
received an endorsement from the environmental federation that has
teamed with him to fight the highway plan.
The New Jersey Environmental Federation, a coalition of more than 100
environmental groups with more than 70,000 members statewide, announced
its support of Baroni yesterday, citing
a strong environmental record that includes sponsoring a bill that
would quash the New Jersey Turnpike Authority's ability to construct
the controversial Route 92.
"Every candidate says they support the environment," said Dave Pringle,
NJEF campaign director. "It's our job to separate the wheat from the
chaff. In this race, (one of the) most watched (in the state), the
choice is clear."
Baroni is being opposed by Democrat Seema Singh for the 14th District
At a press conference yesterday, Baroni touted his environmental
record, including support for emissions reduction planning under the
Global Warming Response Act and drinking water preservation via the
Highlands Protection Act.
Pringle noted that Baroni's support reached across party lines, as he
stood with Democrats on environmentally sound legislation while
opposing the legislative majority on the development-friendly "Fast
In an interview Thursday, Singh pointed to time spent "fighting
polluters and utility companies" as a ratepayer advocate when asked
about her environmental record.
"We know that New Jersey has a rich environmental landscape which
definitely has to be preserved and protected," she added. "This is not
Both Baroni and Singh also urged voters to approve a ballot question
that would secure a yearlong extension of funding for the Garden State
Funding for the trust, which is used to purchase and maintain open
space, farmland and historic sites, is up for renewal before the
Legislature can identify a more permanent source at its next session.
Critics have called the bill to
deauthorize the Route 92 project unnecessary because the nearly
$400 million earmarked for Route 92 has been transferred to the
Turnpike Authority's widening project, removing any financial support
for the construction.
But a "formal" deauthorization of the proposal
for the highway is critical, according to Pringle, because of constant
changes in state transportation policy.
"The final nail in the Route 92 coffin
hasn't been set, and it needs to be," he added.