New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced Tuesday he has "no sympathy" for property owners who oppose construction of engineered beach dunes in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
"I'm not going to put up with people who say their view of the Atlantic Ocean is more important than the lives and the property of their neighbors," the governor told residents of Middlesex, N.J., according to The Star-Ledger.
Even before Sandy, beach replenishment along the New Jersey shore met opposition from coastal residents who feared they would lose their oceanfront views. The storm -- which provided "ample evidence" of the protection from storm surges offered by larger dunes, according to WNYC -- has only intensified the push for coastal protection.
"There’s no more of this crap if they want their homes protected, otherwise they’re going to fall down," Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini said after Sandy, according to The Star-Ledger. Saying he was "dead serious," Mancini explained that Long Beach Island residents would be responsible for the cost of beach replenishment if they did not sign easements.
The Huffington Post previously reported that New Jersey's coastal land-use regulations are conspicuously lenient compared to other states. Christie's administration has been criticized for allegedly replacing credentialed scientists in the state's Department of Environmental Protection with people drawn from the business world.
Christie, who has not ruled out a 2016 presidential run, also fielded a broader question Tuesday on environmental policy, reportedly saying, "I don’t believe in a carbon tax for sure and I don’t think a carbon tax would have stopped Hurricane Sandy."