Home>Articles>Statements on Gov. Phil Murphy’s Clean Energy plan

Modern windmills about 45 minutes west of Oklahoma City. Photo by Emily Lewis.

Statements on Gov. Phil Murphy’s Clean Energy plan

By NJ Globe Staff, January 27 2020 2:21 pm

Chemistry Council of New Jersey

“The Chemistry Council of New Jersey commends the Murphy Administration for once again reviewing the state’s Energy Master Plan and for not placing a moratorium on specific energy sources. To meet our state’s economic and environmental goals, CCNJ supports a comprehensive energy strategy that promotes and leverages all energy sources including natural gas, while also promoting energy efficiency and alternative sources, such as energy recovery.

“Our members continue to be concerned with the high cost of energy in New Jersey. Energy is a vital component of our industry’s cost structure, and higher energy prices can have a substantial impact on both jobs and the bottom line of our member companies. New Jersey’s industrial energy rates are still some of the highest in the nation, about 45% above the national average. As large energy users, the state’s energy policies are of critical importance to our members

“While we applaud the Murphy Administration’s ambitious goals, it is imperative that affordable and reliable energy be at the forefront of the state’s Energy Master Plan. New Jersey’s energy policy must adequately address and take into full consideration the cost of energy and overall ratepayer impact. We look forward to reviewing the administration’s financial impact report on the proposed plan.

“The business of chemistry is committed to promoting a cleaner environment. The industry has made changes to its operations which has allowed the industry to reduce its TRI emissions by more than 96 percent since 1988 and to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

“New Jersey chemical industry products and technologies support the fight against climate change in applications such as renewable energy sources, electric and high-efficiency vehicles and building materials that reduce energy consumption. Our scientists are developing new emissions reduction technologies and clean energy alternatives to protect the environment and sustain our quality of life.

“The Council looks forward to participating in both the stakeholder and regulatory processes to share this information and make meaningful contributions to the development, promulgation and implementation of the “Protecting Against Climate Threat” (PACT) Rules.

“The Chemistry Council of New Jersey and its members remain committed to being solution providers that help the state achieve its goal and address the negative impacts of climate change, while protecting the investments made by business of chemistry companies employing more than 40,000 people in New Jersey.

Livingston Deputy Mayor Shawn Klein

“Today, Gov Murphy released new information on his Energy Master Plan.

The administration deserves accolades in taking steps toward planning New Jersey’s new low carbon energy future. When the administration talks about “clean” energy, people in New Jersey understand that “clean” means lower carbon use because even natural gas contributes to our climate crisis and worsens forest forest, river flooding and hurricane strengths. Doubling the goals of wind power generation in November and our new law to electrify our roadways were great steps in that direction.

Also, the new plans call for efforts to create green infrastructure and architecture. State-wide plans in this regard are crucial but, additionally, our 565 towns should be unshackled to allow them to innovate and create rules ensuring insulation levels as well as minimizing gas usage.

Towns like Livingston have seen that seemingly every time scientists have updated and refined their climate change models, the world’s problems are shown to be accelerated, not stabilizing. It is our moral imperative to act on this. That’s why Livingston and many other towns have entered into green energy aggregation arrangements wherein the town purchases green energy on behalf of its residents – and often at a cheaper price than current utility rates. In 6/19, Livingston became the 8th municipality in the entire country to provide residents with 100% renewable energy. Here’s hoping every town and county and state does the same.”

State Senator Steve Oroho (R-Franklin)

“We’re already seeing an exodus from New Jersey due to the high cost of living and doing business here,” said Oroho. “Now the governor wants to give the DEP another reason to deny permits that are already difficult to obtain. Ask anybody in the Highlands Region how many years it takes to get a project approved if they are lucky enough to get approval at all. Who would consider trying to build anything in New Jersey going forward with yet another impossible hoop to jump through?”

The Energy Master Plan unveiled by Governor Murphy today calls for a phase-out of natural gas and a transformation of New Jersey’s energy supply to 100% renewable sources by 2050.

Further, the governor signed Executive Order 100 today which calls for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to integrate “climate change considerations, such as sea level rise, into its regulatory and permitting programs, including but not limited to, land use permitting, water supply, stormwater and wastewater permitting and planning, air quality, and solid waste and site remediation permitting.”

“There’s no type of development that will escape Governor Murphy’s ability to withhold permits under opaque ‘climate change considerations.  He could use that language to block virtually any infrastructure improvement, home construction, or commercial development. It’s a plan that would make big government in New Jersey more powerful and intrusive than it already is.”

“New Jerseyans are struggling with the highest property taxes and some of the highest business and income taxes in the nation. Innstead of offering relief, the governor’s energy plan will only add fuel to the fire and push more New Jerseyans to states like Pennsylvania and Florida that have rational fiscal and energy policies that their residents can afford.”

Engineers Labor Employer Cooperative Local 825 director Mark Longo

“This latest version of the Energy Master Plan once again drastically misses the mark. Sadly, nearly two-year’s worth of expert testimony and stakeholder comments about the negative and costly impacts this will have directly on residents and business were disregarded. If we want New Jersey – which is already struggling with high taxes, crumbling infrastructure, historic outmigration, and an ever-worsening business climate — to thrive, we need a realistic approach that takes overall cost and feasibility into account. This simply does not.”

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