Energy, GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS
Press of Atlantic City: Residents shouldn’t overpay to make NJ clean energy leader
Gov. Phil Murphy outlined the state’s new Energy Master Plan at Stockton University recently, adding some policies and initiatives to help achieve New Jersey’s longtime goal of transitioning to all clean energy by 2050.
The goal remains a good aspiration and may be feasible with enough new technology. The plan suggests an approach and path that might be reasonable, depending on how its many parts are implemented. The range of possible outcomes is great — from efficient, cost-effective and realistic changes in energy use and development to bungled, wasteful, resident-crushing mandates that achieve little environmental benefit.
Give Murphy credit for acknowledging the reality of New Jersey energy markets and needs. Over the opposition of the most zealous of his environmentalist supporters, his master plan defines clean energy as carbon neutral — which allows for nuclear power and even natural gas if its carbon emissions are offset elsewhere. Those two sources provide 94% of the state’s energy, and South Jersey’s three nuclear plants provide 90% of its clean energy. The plan was supported by numerous leading conservation groups, including NJ Audubon, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and the state chapter of the Nature Conservancy.
Read the full editorial here.