Several clean energy advocacy groups are voicing overwhelming support for legislation passed last Thursday by committees in the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly.
The Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, and ReThink Energy NJ have sent a joint letter to the New Jersey legislature to urge the passage of A.3723/S.2314, which would do as follows, according to the groups:
- Mandate that New Jersey gets more than half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, representing 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 to ensure all customers have access to the benefits of solar, including low-income and multifamily-residence customers; and
- 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 road annually.
According to the groups, 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 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,” comments Dale Bryk, senior strategic director at 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.”
Sponsors of the Assembly bill (A.3723) are John McKeon, D-27; Nancy Pinkin, D-18; and Wayne DeAngelo, D-14. The sponsors of the identical Senate bill (S.2314) are Bob Smith, D-17; Stephen Sweeney, D-3; Jeff Van Drew, D-1; and Troy Singleton, D-7.