Garden State Initiative Partners with Renowned Energy Policy Expert Mark P. Mills on Research Paper NJ’s Energy Master Plan - Garden State Initiative

Garden State Initiative Partners with Renowned Energy Policy Expert Mark P. Mills on Research Paper NJ’s Energy Master Plan


Garden State Initiative Partners with Renowned Energy Policy Expert Mark P. Mills on Research Paper NJ’s Energy Master Plan

Mark P. Mills   |   May 1, 2024


Report titled “The Aspirations and Economics of the New Jersey Energy Master Plan” headlines GSI’s Annual Policy Forum in New Brunswick

For Immediate Release
Contact: Audrey Lane, GSI President

Morristown, May 1, 2024 – Garden State Initiative (GSI) teamed up with renowned energy policy expert Mark P. Mills on a research report that analyzes goals and challenges associated with New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan (EMP).  The report was released today at GSI’s Annual Policy Forum in New Brunswick in front of a packed room of 125 academics, legislators, journalists, and other policy stakeholders from around the state.

Mr. Mills is Director of the National Center for Energy Analytics, a contributing editor at the City Journal, and a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s school of engineering.  Mills has authored several books and his articles have been widely published in several major media outlets, and he’s appeared as a guest on CNN, Fox, NBC, and PBS. Earlier in his career, Mr. Mills served in the Reagan White House Science Office, as well as working as an experimental physicist and development engineer in microprocessors and fiber optics.

“Governor Murphy’s mandate that New Jersey attain 100 percent clean energy by 2035 is a laudable goal, but it’s not realistic.  The bottom line is that the goals set forth in the NJ EMP are purely aspirational and our report painstakingly makes that clear,” said Lane.  “The unrealistic nature of implementing this plan doesn’t even take into account the price tag – which we estimate at a whopping $40 billion, and would drive even more people and jobs out of the state.”

In the report, Mills raises pointed questions about whether New Jersey can produce the electricity it needs relying almost entirely on wind and solar technologies in time to meet the 2035 mandate – and whether doing so would have the desired outcome of reducing the state’s contribution to global CO2 emissions.  In doing so, he analyzes EMP’s ‘seven strategies’ to move away from hydrocarbons.

“Given that New Jersey currently obtains over 90 percent of all the state’s energy from hydrocarbons, 98 percent of vehicles on the roads use petroleum, and 85% of the state’s residential homes and commercial buildings are heated with natural gas or propane fuel,” said Mills, citing irrefutable statistics.  “Reducing those metrics to zero in just over 10 years will have enormous economic and social consequences – punishing current and future New Jerseyans who are least able to afford higher energy costs and creating disincentives for industries and businesses to locate or remain in the state.”

GSI-Mills Report Tackles NJ EMP’s Seven Strategies

EMP Strategy #1: Reducing Energy Consumption and Emissions in Transportation
Reality: Total life cycle analyses point to small, possibly non-existent reductions in CO2 emissions associated with mass deployment of EVs.

EMP Strategy #2: Accelerating Deployment of Renewable Energy and Distributed Energy Resources
Reality: Greater deployment of wind and solar correlates, everywhere, with increased cost of electricity.

EMP Strategy #3: Energy Efficiency and Conservation to Reduce Peak Demand
Reality: In an unrestricted economy, in nearly all applications, increased energy efficiency is associated with an overall net increase in energy demand.

EMP Strategy #4: Reduce Building Energy Use
Reality: The future potential for energy savings is now far less and will take more time and cost more than in the past.

EMP Strategy #5: Decarbonizing and Modernizing New Jersey’s Energy System
Reality: The track record for “decarbonizing” energy systems shows very small changes in overall societal carbon-intensity, and far higher consumer costs.

EMP Strategy #6: Community Energy Planning and Action in Underserved Communities
Reality: Policymakers should keep in mind a basic tenet for low-income citizens and communities, i.e., high energy costs are destructive.

EMP Strategy #7: Expand the Clean Energy Innovation Economy
Reality: Many proposed “clean energy” innovation policies are antithetical to other innovation policies and objectives.

“This report provides a reality check on aspirational policy.  New Jersey residents, taxpayers, and business owners need to understand how state policies will affect them now and, in the future,” concluded GSI’s Lane.  “We see this report as part of fulfilling that part of our mission and stoking a more honest and robust debate about the future of energy in the state.”