TRENTON, N.J., April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJ Conservation), New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV), and ReThink Energy NJ voiced overwhelming support for the clean energy legislation (A3723/S2314) that was passed today by committees in the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly, according to NJ Conservation.
The groups sent a joint letter to the NJ Legislature today urging them to pass the bill because it will create good, sustainable jobs, reduce harmful emissions that negatively impact public health, and recognize the "importance of clean energy to the environmental and economic well-being of our state."
The energy efficiency provisions in the bill could save up to $200 million per year for the state's residents, and could more than 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 also create additional jobs and spur new industries in New Jersey.
The bill is now likely to go to the Assembly and the Senate on April 12 for a vote by the full New Jersey legislature.
"New Jerseyans deserve a healthier future," said Mary Barber, Director, New Jersey Clean Energy, EDF. "The clean energy bill will create jobs, cut pollution, and set New Jersey on a path to becoming a national clean energy leader once again."
"This is a great down payment on Governor Murphy's commitment to 100 percent clean energy. It creates good jobs in the clean energy economy, and propels New Jersey back to the list of the greenest states in America," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, NJLCV.
"New Jersey is set to adopt measures that will catapult the Garden State to the front of the pack when it comes to support for clean energy," said Dale Bryk, Senior Strategic Director, NRDC. "The adoption of energy efficiency improvements and the transition to more solar and wind will pay dividends in the state for decades to come, in the form of cleaner air, healthier people, and tens of thousands of high-quality jobs. Our leaders in Trenton are showing the climate naysayers in Washington what a 21st Century clean energy economy looks like."
"We applaud Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Chairman Smith, Chairman McKeon and all of the bill sponsors for their commitment to clean energy, healthy communities, and a strong economy. This visionary legislation is a giant step forward toward meeting those important goals," said Tom Gilbert, Campaign Director, ReThink Energy NJ and NJ Conservation.
Specifically, the legislation will:
- Mandate that New Jersey gets more than half of its energy from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2030, a fourfold increase in the next 12 years over the progress made since 2001, while protecting customers with a cap on the cost.
- Create 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.
- Establish 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) are John McKeon (D-27), Nancy Pinkin (D-18), and Wayne DeAngelo (D-14). The sponsors of the identical Senate bill (S2314) are Bob Smith (D-17), Stephen Sweeney (D-3), Jeff Van Drew (D-1), and Troy Singleton (D-7).