New Jersey and national conservation groups praised Gov. Phil Murphy and state legislative leaders for the sweeping clean energy legislation that was signed into law. The measure will create good, local jobs, reduce toxic pollution and make the state a national leader once again in the development of clean energy technologies.
The groups also applauded the governor's announcement of an executive order that directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to develop a plan to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
"The clean energy law creates jobs, cuts pollution, and improves public health," said Mary Barber, director, New Jersey Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund. "New Jersey leaders have an opportunity to build on Gov. Murphy's leadership by implementing strong, cost-effective solutions to make the state a hub of innovation and a thriving clean energy economy."
"The clean energy bill is a great down payment on Gov. Murphy's commitment to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. I couldn't be more thrilled the governor took this initiative one step further today by signing an executive order to update the energy master plan toward the 100 percent clean energy goal," said Ed Potosnak, executive director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
"New Jersey is showing that in the 21st century a thriving economy is built on home-grown, clean energy," said Dale Bryk, senior strategic advisor, Natural Resources Defense Council. "While the Trump administration is trying to prop up the dirtiest fuels, Gov. Murphy and New Jersey's lawmakers are charting a smarter course, enacting a policy change that will create jobs, save consumers money and protect our health and the environment."
"This landmark legislation and executive order show that New Jersey is serious about rapidly adopting clean, renewable energy. From far-reaching environmental benefits, to tens of thousands of jobs that strengthen our economy, to lower emissions that fend off climate change and improve our health, the advantages of clean energy are undeniable. With these actions, Gov. Murphy is making New Jersey a national leader in the transition away from fossil fuels toward a healthier and more prosperous clean energy future," said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
The energy efficiency provisions in the bill could save up to $200 million per year for the state's residents, and could triple the number of residents working in energy efficiency to more than 100,000. Continued growth of solar energy and development of offshore wind would create additional jobs and spur new industries in New Jersey.
Specifically, the legislation:
- Mandates that New Jersey gets more than half of its energy from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2030, more than a threefold increase in the next 12 years over the progress made since 2001, while protecting customers with a cap on the cost.
- Creates a community solar program that will ensure all customers will have access to the benefits of solar energy for the first time, including low-income and multi-family residence customers.
- Establishes an energy efficiency program that would decrease harmful emissions from the power sector by approximately 350,000 metric tons per year, the equivalent of removing approximately 75,000 cars from the roads per year.
The sponsors of the Assembly bill (A3723) were John McKeon (D-27), Nancy Pinkin (D-18), and Wayne DeAngelo (D-14). The sponsors of the identical Senate bill (S2314) were Bob Smith (D-17), Stephen Sweeney (D-3), Jeff Van Drew (D-1), and Troy Singleton (D-7).