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TRENTON — The Daily Show host Jon Stewart tore into Gov. Chris Christie's negotiation of a pennies-on-the-dollar settlement with Exxon Mobil over environmental damage caused by its refineries in Bayonne and Linden on Thursday night.
Stewart noted that Exxon Mobil had been embroiled in litigation with the State of New Jersey since 2004, "to determine just how many billions of dollars they would squeeze through Exxon's nozzle, until...." said Stewart, pausing to sarcastically add "'master negotiator' Chris Christie showed up, and sealed the deal."
Before the judge deciding the case could award damages, on March 5th, Christie's acting Attorney General, John Hoffman, announced his office had proposed a $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil, instead of the $8.9 billion originally sought by the state.
Before the judge deciding the case could award damages, on March 5th, Christie's acting Attorney General, John Hoffman, announced his office had proposed a $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil, instead of the $8.9 billion originally sought by the state. "Christie's said he was a great negotiator," deadpanned Stewart, "He didn't say which side he was working for."
Christie had defended the settlement at a recent Somerville town hall meeting, saying it's over and above what Exxon must pay to remediate the sites.
But on Thursday night's broadcast, Stewart wasn't letting Christie claim credit for that.
"However... that Exxon has to fix what it polluted with no cap stipulation comes from a completely separate 1991 consent order that is different from the 2004 lawsuit. He's conflating them," said Stewart, cackling manically, "because he doesn't want you to know that."
Stewart also took aim at Christie's use of a law he proposed last year to divert the Exxon damages to plug holes in the state's budget, rather than to fully repair the environmental damage.
TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie's budget plan again includes language allowing most money from large environmental settlements, such as the ExxonMobil agreement, to be shifted away from cleanups and into the state's general fund.
blatantly corrupt politician
This is shocking
You’re worrying about semantics
What’s your point?
Before Gov. Chris Christie’s administration abruptly settled long-running state environmental litigation against ExxonMobil for far less than originally expected, the oil behemoth donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Republican group that Christie ran and that financed his election campaigns. Additionally, the Christie administration office that engineered the settlement had been run by a former Exxon lawyer.
When the case was initiated in 2004, when Democrat James McGreevey was governor, New Jersey sought $8.9 billion in damages in a suit alleging that ExxonMobil damaged more than 1,500 acres of waterfront and meadows. Yet, according to documents reported on by the New York Times on Friday, the Christie administration is settling the suit for just $250 million. Based on ExxonMobil's 2014 revenue of $411.9 billion, it will take the company roughly 5 hours to generate the sales to pay out the settlement.