Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Jersey Will Become More 'Green' under Murphy

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Jersey Will Become More 'Green' under Murphy

Article excerpt

The resistance to the Trump administration's nativist, corporate-boosting agenda claimed one of its biggest victories right here in New Jersey with the election of Gov. Phil Murphy. He has hit the ground running, and now it's time to move quickly to build a 21st century energy system fueled entirely by clean, renewable energy. That's why I have introduced a bill to get New Jersey to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2035.

Every day brings good news for green power. Prices continuously drop, and battery storage is improving quickly. Even the big utilities know the days of coal and gas are numbered. And now we have a governor who gets it: One of the governor's first executive orders calls for a massive push on offshore wind, a jobs-creating bonanza stymied during the Christie years.

The governor knows that policymakers cannot just wait for the "market" to deliver what we need. For the sake of the climate, and for the health of communities across the state, we must build a clean energy revolution. We need to move fast because the cost of not doing so is grim. Leaders across the country were horrified by the Trump administration's awful decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement. And the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorsed a resolution last year calling for 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. So, let's turn those words into action.

How will we do it? Right now, the state sets rules about how much electricity must be derived from renewable sources. We only receive about 4 percent of our power from clean sources right now, which is simply embarrassing. But our new rules will require utilities to make big investments in getting electricity derived from wind and solar.

Of course, there are bound to be naysayers who will say this is technically impossible, or just too expensive. But the truth is the technology exists currently to start making this shift. …

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