TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A diverse group of 14 public interest and business groups jointly expressed their support for the final New Jersey Energy Master Plan released today by the state Board of Public Utilities. The organizations are:
ATNJ Education Fund Environmental Defense Fund ISLES National Wildlife Federation Natural Resources Defense Council New Jersey Audubon New Jersey Conservation Foundation NJ League of Conservation Voters NJ Sustainable Business Council Pinelands Preservation Alliance ReThink Energy NJ The Nature Conservancy, NJ Chapter The Watershed Institute Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Key takeaways from the Energy Master Plan (EMP):
New Jersey can achieve Global Warming Response Act emissions reduction targets and 100 percent clean energy by 2050 with existing technologies, the right mix of wind and solar across a broad geographic area, and greater energy efficiency — together with storage and new ways to generate clean electricity when wind and solar are scarce.
Adoption of electric vehicles will reduce gasoline use, and electrification of building heating and cooling will reduce natural gas use, lessening reliance on fossil fuels to meet our climate goals and improve air quality.
According to rigorous analysis, demand for natural gas can be reduced 75 percent across all sectors and fossil gas phased out of electric generation by 2050 while maintaining a reliable electric system.
Costs to meet emissions targets will be small compared to total energy system spending and more than offset by billions in annual net economic clean air benefits, especially in environmental justice communities.
Gov. Murphy also signed an unprecedented executive order directing the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to begin developing a suite of regulations to protect against climate threats, including implementation of the Global Warming Response Act, establishing criteria to reduce CO2 and short-lived climate pollutants, and amending land-use regulations to incorporate climate considerations.
"This is exactly the type of bold leadership needed to address the climate crisis. Gov. Murphy's actions today put New Jersey at the forefront of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a healthier, more prosperous, clean energy future," said Tom Gilbert, Campaign Director, NJ Conservation Foundation and ReThink Energy NJ. "We are encouraged that the final EMP calls for gas capacity planning, as we need new mechanisms to prevent unneeded gas infrastructure expansion. Together, the EMP and executive order will put us on a path to achieve the deep reductions needed in greenhouse gas emissions and, at the same time, keep electricity affordable and reliable."
"This ambitious plan shows that going all-in on clean energy is a win-win-win proposition for New Jersey," said Eric Miller, NJ Energy Policy Director, Natural Resources Defense Council. "We can provide affordable clean power to our homes and businesses, create thousands of well-paying jobs, and fight climate pollution all at the same time."
"This bold Master Plan is a guide to achieving New Jersey's necessary climate goals, in a realistic way, and it outlines the key strategies and policies that will be needed and make New Jersey the greenest state in America," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. "Importantly, it doesn't predict the future, it provides analysis and strategies for New Jersey to create the future in a responsible manner — so we meet our energy needs and keep the planet livable for our children and grandchildren."
"Gov. Murphy's Energy Master Plan is a leap forward for New Jersey, and will be instrumental for the state to meet its environmental goals," said Mary Barber, Director, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs at Environmental Defense Fund. "Electrifying transportation is especially critical to transforming New Jersey's most polluting sector into one that can be an integral part of a sustainable energy system."
"New Jersey is already experiencing the effects of climate change," said Trina Mallik, Climate Change and Clean Energy Policy Manager at The Nature Conservancy, NJ Chapter. "The plan outlines how New Jersey can realistically meet its ambitious, but necessary, climate goals. Based on expert analysis, the plan shows how New Jersey can increasingly electrify its buildings and transportation system with renewable energy and associated technologies while lowering costs, creating jobs, and enhancing public health. We look forward to using the plan as a basis for achieving clean energy in New Jersey."
"As a growing network of businesses who define success by the 'triple bottom line' of people, planet, and profit, we view the EMP as an indispensable roadmap to creating a more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable economy," said Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the NJ Sustainable Business Council, "By including all social, environmental, and economic impacts, this plan is the key to skillfully addressing the growing risk of climate change, and actualizing the upside opportunity of transitioning to a clean energy future."
"When most people hear about plans to change to a more 'green energy' environment, many assume and fear that it comes at the expense of jobs. This is not true," says Uyen "Winn" Khuong, Executive Director, Action Together New Jersey. "We support Gov. Murphy's Energy Master Plan precisely because it lays the foundation and sets goals to reduce emissions and increase the use of clean and efficient energy while creating, across many industries, thousands of long-term sustainable green jobs."
"As recent reports have shown, we have lost billions of birds in the last few decades, insects are dying off at an alarming rate, and we are in the midst of a wildlife crisis, which are all being driven, at least in part, by climate change. Thankfully, Gov. Murphy's administration has decided to take this challenge head-on with his visionary Energy Master Plan, which includes one of the nation's strongest commitments to responsibly developed offshore wind energy," said Eric Stiles, President and CEO of New Jersey Audubon. "The EMP is a bold proposal to tackle a problem that requires immediate action, and we applaud the governor's vision for a clean energy future that fights climate change while protecting our natural resources."
"The climate crisis is one of the most urgent challenges of our time and demands action and leadership from states across the nation," said Curtis Fisher, Northeast Regional Executive Director at the National Wildlife Federation. "We applaud Gov. Murphy for defining the critical role that offshore wind must play in transforming New Jersey from a fossil fuel powered past to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future. We will keep working together with our many partners to protect wildlife every step of the way, while safeguarding communities, creating jobs, and supporting sustainable economic growth."