100+ New Jersey Groups Demand Stronger Clean Energy Legislation

Published Mar 11, 2024


Climate and Energy

Letter urges lawmakers to close dirty loopholes and remove false solutions from bill

Letter urges lawmakers to close dirty loopholes and remove false solutions from bill

In advance of a March 11 joint committee hearing, more than 100 climate and community groups released a letter to Governor Murphy and state lawmakers calling for changes that would strengthen a clean energy bill. 

Monday’s hearing is focused on S237/A1480, which would require 100% of retail electricity sales in New Jersey to come from “clean” sources of energy by 2035. While the legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Smith would mark a step in the right direction for New Jersey, the letter warns that the bill as drafted contains loopholes and other weaknesses that undermine the transition away from dirty energy. 

The most recent public draft of the bill would continue the practice of treating trash incineration as a form of renewable energy, and could also encourage fossil fuel facilities to rely on the use of so-called ‘carbon capture’ technology that has been a colossal, expensive failure. 

The letter also highlights another bill (A1462/S2275), which would allow utilities to overcharge consumers for the purchase of so-called ‘renewable natural gas.’ Use of this fuel source, which is limited in quantity and prohibitively expensive, would increase air pollution in overburdened communities. 

The letter to Governor Murphy and lawmakers was signed by groups including Empower New Jersey, Earthjustice, Ironbound Community Corporation, NJ Environmental Justice Alliance and South Ward Environmental Alliance.

As the letter puts it, “The choice is between a robust clean energy economy with tens of thousands of new, life-supporting, green jobs fairly distributed throughout all demographic groups, or climate havoc and economic and environmental injustice based on continued and increased reliance on dirty fossil fuels.”

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