Suggested Energy Master Plan talking/writing points from Environment NJ

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Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey, comments: “We need to compel the BPU to meet the goals of the 2007 Global Warming Response Act. Specifically, we need to tell them what a good Clean Energy New Jersey Energy Master Plan should look like. Here are some sample talking points I helped put together for this week’s hearings – feel free to share them widely so folks feel more comfortable taking a piece and expanding on it.”

Doug also suggests focusing in on just one or two points and expanding on them. For example, if you can tie in a single point with a personal story or concern, that can be very powerful.

Doug O’Malley’s Energy Master Plan 2015 Talking Points List

  • Less fossil fuel pipelines, oil trains, off-shore LNG facilities and fracking waste, and fossil fuel power plants in our neighborhoods like the Newark Energy Center.
  • More solar and wind generation, specifically with 3,000 MW of off-shore wind energy
  • 30% of our electrical energy to come from renewable sources by 2020 through a stronger Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
  • 30% reduction in energy use by 2030 through an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard and a robust Combined Heat & Power program
  • 80% of our energy (for both electricity and total energy) to come from renewable sources by 2050 through a visionary Renewable Portfolio Standard.

    We should be moving the state forward, not backwards, towards clean energy. New Jersey’s energy future should be built on increased solar and wind generation and more energy efficiency. We need demand response programs, green job creation, and a commitment to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. The BPU needs to stop promoting doubling down on fossil fuels and work towards energy efficiency and clean energy programs.

    The 2011 Christie Administration Energy Master Plan hurts New Jersey’s environment and economy and undermines clean energy and green jobs. This plan will continue to send jobs and money out of New Jersey while adding more pollution, and hurting our public health.

  • Christie denies Sandy is result of climate changeWe need much more aggressive clean energy goals and the Christie Administration has slowed our advances in clean energy – like the ones in the 2008 Energy Master Plan that called for 30% of our electrical energy to come from clean, renewable sources by 2020. New Jersey was on track to meet the 2008 goals, until Governor Christie repealed the previous plan’s aggressive goals. The Christie Administration rolled the 2020 goals back to 22.5% and there’s concern this standard will be cut even further.
  • The BPU Energy Master Plan doesn’t acknowledge the importance of the state Global Warming Response Act. The legislation, passed in 2006, mandated carbon reductions of 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, which sets forward an aggressive timeline for carbon reductions over the next 35 years.
  • The Energy Master Plan still strongly endorses the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure across the state, especially expanding gas pipelines and gas power plants in our communities. From the fights against the South Jersey Gas pipeline through the Pinelands to the efforts to stop the bi-state PennEast pipeline that has been proposed in Mercer and Hunterdon County to the placement of four new gas power plants in the state, including in the heart of the Ironbound community in Newark, expanding fossil fuels is harmful to New Jersey residents.
  • The BPU Plan is silent on the EPA Clean Power Plan, which will federally reduce power plant pollution by 32% over the next 15 years. While the reductions are less in New Jersey (23%), it still means we need more investment in clean energy and energy efficiency to reduce New Jersey’s overall base load power demands.
  • We need a more aggressive solar energy carve-out: New Jersey was second in the nation in solar before the Christie Administration took office and we are now seventh in solar installations. We previously had 10,000 jobs in solar and we now have only 5,500, as other states have caught up to New Jersey’s policies.
  • We need to ramp up invest in energy efficiency, especially for weatherization for the residential sector, and Combined Heat & Power programs for the commercial sector. Energy efficiency programs can be a boon for consumers and businesses alike, but New Jersey has now fallen to the 19th state in the country making progress on energy efficiency, from being previously in the top 10. We are massively behind on the 2011 Energy Master Plan goal for 1500 MW from Combined Heat & Power program for commercial businesses. The Energy Master Plan should explicitly be clear that the state budget process needs to stop continually raiding the Clean Energy Fund, which has now lost $1 billion during the Christie Administration.
  • We’ve already hurt our state by pulling out of RGGI: Gov. Christie’s initial decision to pull us out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cost our state $50 million a year in revenue and more than 1800 jobs in 2011. The program has gotten stronger in the last 4 years, and New Jersey has now squandered close to $200 million that could be invested in energy efficiency program that would save consumers money.
  • We’re stalled on the 2011 Energy Master Plan goal for Off-Shore Wind: New Jersey was poised to be the first state in the nation with offshore wind, especially after Gov. Christie signed off-shore wind legislation into place five years ago calling for 3000 MW of off-shore wind, although the 2011 EMP only set a 1100 MW goal. Offshore wind projects could provide a vast majority of our energy needs but now other states are leapfrogging ahead of us.
  • The Energy Master Plan needs to do more to support and expand clean energy, energy efficiency and public transportation, VMT (Vehicle Miles Travelled) reduction programs and zero emission vehicle infrastructure, which reduces air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to reduce greenhouse gases and help lower energy costs. Energy efficiency cuts peak demand, preventing the use of peaker plants, which prevent blackouts, air pollution, and saves New Jersey residents’ money. Energy efficiency creates jobs and will reduce our greenhouse gas pollution. Public transportation clearly provides an opportunity for residents to avoid traffic and their carbon emissions by taking NJ Transit, VMT reduction program can fund measures to encourage corporate and private car-pooling and electric vehicle charging stations, with enough penetration in public streets and private parking lots can provide a way to relieve range anxiety.

Thanks for the share Klaus Rittenbach. Klaus also comments:

The energy calculation issue is a huge issue. We are not going to hit the 2011 EMP stated goal of 22.5% of renewables from electricity generation by 2020 as per the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). BPU is saying we are on track. It would be good to challenge their numbers directly.

The EMP is a narrowly focused document and does not get to the full energy picture. The biggest issue is that the EMP doesn’t deal with energy used for transportation at all, which is the biggest source of carbon emissions in the state.

NJ Assemblyman Den Benson shared his own list of what a strong EMP should contain.

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