Stepping on the Gas or Taking the Road to Renewables?
2019 BPU Preview Keeps Everyone Guessing on Eve of NJ Energy Master Plan
Trenton, NJ -- The Murphy Administration's State of the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) address today left more questions than answers according to Clean Water Action. Billed as "celebrating accomplishments of 2018 and previewing priorities of 2019", it served as the prelude to the release of the revised Energy Master Plan expected by the end of April. In their remarks, Governor Murphy and BPU President Fiordaliso’s commitment was high when it comes to 100% renewable energy by 2050, but the details were low.
"2018 has set the stage, but 2019 won’t win the Oscar without a strong Energy Master Plan and other policies being implemented that include a moratorium on all frack gas infrastructure, mandating maximum pollution reductions in environmental justice communities, and denying unwarranted nuclear subsidies. The State is not saying yes to clean energy if it’s not also saying no to dirty power. Gas is not a gap fuel or bridge to the clean energy future, it’s a drive off the cliff to the dirty energy past,” said Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action.
Goldsmith noted that the real State of the BPU and more importantly State of the State concerning a clean green economy and combating the climate crisis will be determined by how well the Administration implements the following policies:
- Aggressive deployment of clean renewables and energy efficient technology to achieve 50% renewable (class 1) energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050 - current policies and proposals will not get us there;
- Moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects;
- Mandatory maximum pollution reductions in environmental justice communities;
- Ruthless vetting, including denials not just reductions, of the multitude of utility rate hike requests totaling over $12 billion, especially the $3 billion request to subsidize nuclear energy, to ensure fairness to ratepayers and environmental benefit,
- Staying on track to exceed the state's aggressive offshore wind and battery storage goals;
- Fixing the solar cap which places an unfair burden on solar as compared to other technologies; and
- Accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles to exceed compliance with California Clean Cars Act.
Clean Water Action has more than 150,000 members statewide in New Jersey and is the nation's largest grassroots group focused on water, energy and environmental health. Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress. www.cleanwater.org/nj