environmental, green, energy

Affordable Energy for New Jersey Coalition Launches

In response to the recently released New Jersey Energy Master Plan (EMP), representatives of labor, energy, business and civic groups have come together to launch Affordable Energy for New Jersey.  The coalition will work to ensure New Jersey residents continue to have safe, reliable and affordable choices to meet their energy needs.

“The EMP’s emphasis on a move to complete electrification unilaterally ignores the fact that such an infrastructure does not even exist, nor is it even in progress. While laudable, this plan does not answer the two most fundamental questions – how much will this actually cost the residents of New Jersey and what is the realistic timetable to implement any changes?” stated Ron Morano, executive director of the newly formed Affordable Energy for New Jersey. “The EMP presently relies too heavily on untested and not-yet realized technologies to meet our needs while hindering access to proven clean and affordable energy sources.”

“Further, as we’ve already begun to see substantial cost increases in energy just this year, the EMP will drive those costs up substantially higher,” added Morano. “In addition to accelerating the increased price of electricity to all consumers, this plan will require additional costs through the necessary retrofitting of each home and business to accommodate an electric-only infrastructure.”

Research from a McLaughlin & Associates survey shows that while New Jersey residents care strongly about climate change, they also disapprove of many of the key elements of the EMP.  Specifically, they reject the EMP’s mandates and efforts to eliminate consumer choice in how to provide energy to their home especially as it relates to natural gas. In fact, natural gas is viewed favorably by 82 percent of those surveyed.  The survey also points out that nearly 75 percent agree that the state should allow residents to choose how they want to power their homes.

“The McLaughlin survey proves that New Jersey voters want natural gas and know that it is environmentally friendly, safe and affordable,” noted Morano. “In a state that already fosters a high cost of living, the state’s new EMP simply is not acceptable to voters. It’s clear that voters prefer market-solutions to solve their energy needs and also prefer to see new technologies developed to address problems rather than unrealistic and unaffordable government mandated solutions.”

The following have been announced as members of the coalition:

  • New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
  • New Jersey Business & Industry Association
  • Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey
  • Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative 825
  • Consumer Energy Alliance
  • Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey
  • New Jersey Builders Association
  • New Jersey Concrete & Aggregate Association
  • Southern New Jersey Development Council
  • Utility & Transportation Contractors Association
  • UA Pipefitters Local 274
  • Operating Engineers Local 825

“Together, our coalition will work to demonstrate to legislators, the Board of Public Utilities and elected officials that consumers want access to natural gas and there will be a price to pay if it is taken away,” added Morano.

Affordable Energy for New Jersey’s goals include:

  • Growing support for clean, affordable, reliable natural gas
  • Creating knowledge about New Jersey’s access to natural gas
  • Broadening the conversation from production to delivery of energy
  • Emphasizing affordability of energy while reinforcing safety and environmental benefits

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