TRENTON – Covering a wide range of topics in his press conference today, Gov. Chris Christie spoke in short on a possible fracking ban, the prospects of Amazon.com opening two warehouses in-state, and the state’s entrance into a $25 billion state-and-federal settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses.
No frack zone
Asked whether he would support a ban on fracking moving through a Legislature committee today, Christie reminded the press that he already signed a one-year moratorium – in a state that has no shale to be fracked.
“They want to ban fracking in a state that has no shale,” Christie said. “This is why people hate government.” Voters are focused on job creation and tax policy while lawmakers are zeroing in on same-sex marriage and gas drilling in a state that contains no gas deposits. “No one is coming here to frack,” he said. “We have no shale.”
Navigating the Amazon
Details of a possible deal landing two Amazon.com warehouses in New Jersey leaked out this week, although Christie said no deal has been made yet. Among the details was a possible sale tax holiday for the online super-retailer should they build the two facilities here, but Christie didn’t take the bait on exposing the negotiations.
“Do we have a deal with Amazon?” he shot back coyly to the reporter. On the tax break, he again poked, “Amazon doesn’t pay sales tax here.”
Christie was asked recently whether New Jersey would join Virginia, Tennessee, and Indiana in arranging state sales tax collections from Amazon.com, but he threw aside the question without a true response.
The state announced today its participation in a landmark $25 billion settlement to resolve a national investigation into alleged foreclosure abuses, fraud, and unacceptable business practices by the country’s five largest mortgage servicers.
“I’ve given my tentative approval to it,” Christie said today. “There’s some final details to be worked out.”
The settlement should direct an estimated $762 million in direct relief to New Jersey homeowners.
“It is a very good thing for New Jersey,” Christie said. “(The) overwhelming amount of the money will go to…homeowners.”