Trenton, NJ (May 25, 2017) -- A diverse, bipartisan group of New Jersey mothers, state legislators and nonprofit groups convened today at the State House for Mama Summit 2017, to urge legislators to take action to address climate change, require more energy efficiency and renewables, and protect children from pipeline accidents and fracking waste.
Assembling to champion a clean environment, mothers from throughout the state demanded that legislators support policies that keep the environment clean and usher in a future of clean energy that will reduce pollution, slow climate change, and provide good jobs. Along with key supporters, they urged elected officials to protect New Jersey’s children – one of the most vulnerable populations – from toxins caused by fossil fuel production and consumption.
“We need a clean environment for our kids’ health and for their future. Chemicals in the air and water increase the incidence of respiratory diseases and cancer in children. A generation from now, when our kids are our age, we want to make sure the planet they’re living on is habitable,” said Kate Schumacher, of Moms Clean Air Force.
Families with pollution-related health conditions from across New Jersey attended the event, as well as other groups that support environmental policies and clean energy: the Environmental Defense Fund, League of Women Voters of New Jersey, the Energy Foundation, Climate Mama, Jersey Renews, SOMA ACTION, and Environment New Jersey.
“In New Jersey, childhood cancer rates are up, asthma rates are high, and our emissions are increasing. In New Jersey, we saw an increase in fossil fuel emissions of over 25 percent from 2013 to 2015. Our children’s health and future depend on our acting now. We need to step away from dirty natural gas and fossil fuels. Renewable energy can’t wait,” said Patty Cronheim, outreach coordinator, ReThink Energy NJ.
Several state elected officials also showed bipartisan support for the Mama Summit mission.
“The most straightforward path to a clean energy future for our children is to recognize the significant impact of energy efficiency policies and renewables like wind and solar. By using less energy, and switching to cleaner sources of it, we can reduce harmful emissions and protect the health of our kids,” said Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, (R-16).
“Our children deserve a New Jersey that has good jobs, a strong economy and cleaner environment. All of this is possible if we act now to more quickly move away from fossil fuels and toward homegrown, renewable energy,” said Senator Linda Greenstein, (D-District 14)
“As a legislator who is also a mom, one of my highest priorities is to ensure that our children have a safe and healthy state in which to grow. This means taking action to defend our air and water and ensuring that energy infrastructure that meets the most rigorous safety standards possible,” said Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio (D-15).
Mama Summit 2017 takes place on the heels of nationwide expressions of support for science-based climate policies.
“With President Trump’s budget that slashes the US Environmental Protect Agency funding by 31 percent, it is imperative that New Jersey takes action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants to protect children, our most vulnerable population,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, Assistant Director, New Jersey Work Environment Council. “We have an opportunity to create a strong, clean energy economy and put New Jerseyans to work in good green jobs, all while protecting the environment.”