It’s time to think big.
On February 1, the NJ Off Fossil Fuels coalition came to Trenton to formally launch our campaign to support legislation requiring New Jersey to get to 100% clean, renewable electricity by the year 2035.
Standing alongside bill sponsors Senator Patrick Diegnan and Assemblyman Tim Eustace, an enthusiastic crowd chanted, sang, and shouted out our support for bold action to create a clean energy revolution in the Garden State.
The time is now. With Governor Phil Murphy declaring his support for the 100% clean energy goal, we have the political opportunity to set the boldest goal possible. As Senator Diegnan put it, “No challenge is beyond our reach. And anybody who tells you that this goal is unreachable are simply lying to you.” Assemblyman Eustace echoed those points, saying that a “failure of imagination” should not hold us back from thinking big: “There’s no way this will fail.”
The bills (A1823, S1405) are remarkably straightforward: They call for a rapid transition to a statewide 100% clean energy system, using the state’s existing renewable portfolio standards. They do not rely on gimmicks like a carbon tax or other market-based schemes, but direct reductions of emissions and heavy fines for polluters that break the law.
At the launch, Katie Smith of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance linked the fight for a clean energy system to her organization’s campaign to keep gas pipelines out of the Pinelands. Carol Gay of the NJ State Industrial Union Council spoke about the false debate that puts workers against the environment, pointing out that clean energy creates safe and stable local jobs. And Kevin Moore of the NJ Environmental Justice Alliance spoke about the toll that dirty energy takes on frontline communities across the state.
Launched by Food & Water Watch, the NJ Off Fossil Fuels campaign is supported by a diverse coalition of 50 organizations, including the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Women for Progress, UU Faith in Action, and the Ramapough Lenape Nation.
And we’re not in this fight alone! Our bills in New Jersey coincide with similar efforts in four other states--New York, Maryland, Virginia, and Colorado. They are all modeled on the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, or OFF Act, a federal bill introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard that calls for a clean energy transition by 2035.