Home>Articles>Climate change should take backseat to inflation for now, Kiley says

Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley. (Photo: Joey Fox for the New Jersey Globe).

Climate change should take backseat to inflation for now, Kiley says

Monmouth County Commissioner is running for Congress against Frank Pallone

By Joey Fox, October 20 2022 11:52 am

If she manages to flip New Jersey’s 6th congressional district to Republicans this November, Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley will represent a huge stretch of the Jersey Shore, which is under growing threat from climate change and rising sea levels. But Kiley said today that while climate change is real and worth combating, inflation is the most pressing problem facing her district, and it should be addressed first.

“The global agenda for climate change, I think, is important,” Kiley said following a joint press conference on economic issues with several other Republican candidates. “But I think lowering inflation, helping our economy, and helping people find enough food to eat … to me, that all falls above it. Not that it’s any less important, but these are things we’ve got to deal with first.”

Kiley’s opponent, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, meaning that he has significant sway over climate change policy in Congress. Pallone was also a major supporter of the Inflation Reduction Act, a law that, despite its name, focuses most heavily on green energy and emissions reduction.

Despite Pallone’s prominence in Washington, Kiley argued that the congressman – who is the clear favorite for re-election – has been absent on the most pressing economic problems facing his constituents. 

“I’m very discouraged that he doesn’t ever address [those issues],” Kiley said. “He never talks about what they’ve done, what they haven’t done, what they’re going to do. I don’t hear anything… There are real, big issues that have to be addressed and talked about and solved.

Asked when the right time to focus on climate change might arrive, Kiley said it would be when cost of living issues have gotten under control.

“It depends on how quickly we can start righting the ship,” she said. “People have to be able to eat. We’ve got the winter coming, and we don’t have enough gas…  To me, those are the biggest issues that we’ve got to hit right away. Certainly climate change is important, but it’s a little further down on the list.”

Spread the news: