On March 21st, the NJ State Appellate Court ruled to allow the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue waivers of important environmental and worker protections. THEY GOT IT WRONG!
But, our Legislators can still override the rule to ensure safeguards that will protect our environment and workplaces.
The DEP's waiver rule sets up a process to let wealthy corporations and individuals simply ignore the law. That's why twenty-eight labor and environmental organizations, including WEC, filed a lawsuit to block the DEP waiver rule.
Governor Christie's Executive Order #2 mandated every state agency to create waivers that would essentially allow them to deregulate themselves. The first agency to enact a waiver rule was the Department of Environmental Protection.
We need our Legislators to uphold safeguards that protect workers, communities, and the environment. Tell your Legislators to override the DEP waiver rule and all future waiver rules.
Sign a petition to save our safeguards now!
We, the undersigned, call on all NJ legislators to stand up for our families and communities and...
Please help draw the line on wealthy corporations that risk our health and safety to squeeze even more profit.
Phillips 66 (formerly ConocoPhillips) is cutting firefighting personnel, training, and equipment that protect against the risk of fire and explosion at their massive Bayway refinery in Linden, NJ.
Phillips 66 had fourth-quarter profits from refining and marketing of $1 billion - five times higher than the previous year. It increased by 25% the dividends it pays to shareholders like Warren Buffett (the second richest man in the United States).
The refinery is right in the middle of a highly populated metropolitan area with airports, ports, and low income residential areas. You've no doubt been inside the refinery boundaries, since the NJ Turnpike runs through it.
The refinery produces petroleum products like gasoline that are extremely flammable. Effective fire protection is essential for both workers and surrounding neighborhoods.
Please sign and circulate the petition developed by Teamsters Local 877, which represents the Phillips 66 workers.
Phillips 66 executives are cutting the Fire Department at Bayway Refinery by 40%, eliminating firefighting training for the rescue squad, eliminating key personnel who keep the refinery running safely, refusing to repair bridges needed for firefighter access, and more.
These are the types of cuts that start refineries down the road to disaster. In a recent two-year period, there were at least 80 fires at 59 U.S. refineries. Last August, more than 14,600 people went to the hospital after a massive refinery fire in Richmond, California. U.S. refineries sustain losses from accidents at four times the rate of their counterparts in other countries, in part because of "pushing the operating envelope" and flaws in safety.
Meanwhile, Phillips 66 is "awash in cash" (according to Bloomberg News), as the difference between what refiners pay for crude oil and then charge for refined fuel has doubled in the past year and is the highest since 2005. Phillips 66 CEO, Greg Garland, makes more than $6 million per year - or nearly $3,000 an hour.
Governor Christie is putting corporate special interests and his big campaign contributors ahead of the public interest. He has ordered all state agencies to issue rules to waive the safeguards they are supposed to enforce. These safeguards protect our health and safety at work; our air, water, and open spaces; and our rights as consumers.
Christie's political appointees will be able to let any chemical, oil, banking, insurance, drug, or development company violate our safeguards if they think it creates "an undue hardship."
We need to stop this policy in its tracks by getting the State Legislature to block the first agency's waiver rule.
1. Sign our petition to stop Governor Christie from waiving our safeguards!
2. Volunteer with NJ WEC to get more people to sign the petition or start your own petition drive by downloading the petition and flyer.