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climate justice in New Jersey
- right the wrongs

Princeton is not just an orange bubble, it's a green bubble. Many areas of the state are not nearly as privileged. New Jersey's environmental justice communities, which are overburdened and include fenceline communities (also known as sacrifice zones), bear the brunt of the fossil fuel industry's toxic consequences. They disproportionately experience: 

  • Concentration of stationary and mobile sources of air pollution

  • Contaminated sites

  • Waste transfer stations or other solid waste facilities

  • Recycling facilities

  • Water quality, water pollution from facilities, or combined sewer overflows; or

  • Conditions that may cause potential public health impacts, including, but not limited to, asthma, cancer, elevated blood lead levels, cardiovascular disease, and developmental problems.


A 1987 report by the United Church of Christ’s Commission for Racial Justice titled Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States found that race was the single most important factor in determining where toxic waste facilities were located in the United States.


In addition to being insulated from environmental hazards, Princeton continues to profit financially from  the fossil fuel industry with $700 million still invested in privately held fossil fuel companies, the least regulated and most poorly supervised fossil fuel companies. Princeton must compensate its New Jersey neighbors for their loss and damages.

"The oil industry has long failed to allocate sufficient resources for oil well remediation. The continuing purchases of oil and gas fields around the country by private equity firms heightens concern that the firms will escape responsibility for environmental cleanup by setting up opaque, corporate structures to evade paying their bills." - Public Citizen

New Jersey Attorney General is suing Big Oil


On October 18th, 2022, New Jersey became the 8th and largest state (including DC) to file a lawsuit in state court seeking to hold major fossil fuel companies accountable for causing climate change. The suit alleges that oil giants Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips, along with the powerful industry group the American Petroleum Institute, are liable for damages to the state caused by global warming. It also charges that the companies committed fraud by failing to warn the public about the dangers of unchecked carbon emissions. Read more here. 

Princeton's Extractive Legacy

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