NEW JERSEY – Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths condemned the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) for approving a building decarbonization plan proposed by Governor Murphy that will start the process of electrifying homes and businesses in New Jersey. They warned this will lead to a ban on natural gas appliances.
“The Murphy administration is forcing their extreme energy plan on New Jerseyans which will electrify the entire state and get rid of natural gas completely,” Oroho said. “The BPU’s action ignores the $1.4 trillion price tag for taxpayers and the tens of thousands of dollars homeowners and businesses will have to spend in conversion costs. Never mind the fact that our current energy infrastructure cannot withstand the demands of a full electric conversion. Technology and innovation have significantly advanced the control of emissions. Focusing more on technological improvements and innovations, including renewables and nuclear, will surely help to ensure all forms of our energy supply is robust and affordable.”
During a special meeting, the BPU approved a building decarbonization plan that establishes a roadmap to fully electrify New Jersey through the replacement of gas stoves and appliances.
Experts have stated that the BPU may not have the authority to approve such a plan without action from the Legislature.
The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is also considering plans that would change building codes to prohibit new natural gas hookups and require existing gas appliances to be converted to electric when they are replaced.
“It is disturbing that Governor Murphy continues to sneak his extreme energy master plan through agencies like the BPU and DCA without the consent of the Legislature,” Space said. “Governor Murphy’s extreme energy plan will take away consumer choice and drive-up costs. We need a market driven plan that makes New Jersey more energy efficient while lowering utility bills. Mandates to force conversion are coming whether the governor admits it or not.”
The BPU’s action follows an announcement made by Governor Murphy to ban car manufacturers from selling gas-powered vehicles by 2035. A mandate that his administration says puts no obligation on consumers or car dealerships to purchase electric vehicles (EVs).
Senator Oroho and Assemblymen Space and Wirths have introduced and sponsored legislation that would combat these overreaching mandates imposed by the Murphy administration:
- A5186/S3560 – Prohibits adoption of State and local rules that prohibit use of fossil fuel-powered kitchen appliances.
- A2937 – Prohibits State from mandating electric heating or water heating systems.
- A3935/S2671 – Prohibits adoption of any State rule or regulation mandating electric heating or water heating systems in buildings prior to issuance of DCA report.
- A156 – Prohibits State’s participating in multi-state cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions from transportation sector.
- S3684 – “Energy Security and Affordability Act”; requires BPU to consider energy security, diversity, and affordability when preparing Energy Master Plan and perform economic and ratepayer impact analysis of energy generation projects and Energy Master Plan.
- ACR174/SCR141 – Urges federal government to refrain from implementing any ban on gas-powered appliances in residential or commercial buildings.
“I find it absurd that Governor Murphy continues to push forward with these pie-in-the-sky ideas despite the massive cost to taxpayers. How does he think working families will afford the expense of electrifying their homes and replacing their affordable gas-powered vehicles with an expensive EV?” Wirths questioned. “We cannot allow Governor Murphy’s heavy-handed mandates to dictate how we heat our homes or drive to work. I urge our colleagues to join us in supporting legislation that would prevent this administration, and future administrations, from banning affordable energy sources in the Garden State.”