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Oroho and Bucco: BPU cost study of Gov. Murphy’s energy master plan is two years too late

NEW JERSEY – Senators Steven Oroho and Anthony Bucco welcomed the Board of Public Utilities’ cost study of Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan but chastised the Administration for the unexplained two year delay.

Ratepayer cost estimates for the Energy Master Plan (EMP) were scheduled to be released by the end of 2019. After a two year delay, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) finally held its initial hearing on March 25.

“Recognizing the impracticality of the governor’s proposed Energy Master Plan since it was first announced, I have been calling on the Administration to formally investigate and quantify its real cost to New Jersey families and businesses. Although I am pleased the BPU is finally looking into this, I’m astounded that it took more than two years to do so,” said Oroho (R-24). “Anyone who has actually studied this plan with rational thought knows it is not a feasible plan at all; it is an environmental manifest as unworkable as national Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal.’ Every realistic analysis concludes it will create more problems than solutions, more questions than answers, and more burdensome costs than benefits.”

Oroho has been calling on the Murphy Administration to reveal the true cost of the proposed EMP for years, most recently in an editorial published by in which he called the Governor’s plan “costly foolishness.”

“It is outrageous that it has taken more than two years to conduct something as simple as a cost study. This research and analysis should have been completed and released to the public in December 2019,” said Bucco (R-25). “Nevertheless, this study will reveal what I have been saying all along—Murphy’s plan is nothing more than a huge energy tax that will impoverish low- and middle-class families. Energy bills are already high—with hundreds of thousands of residents behind on their utility bills. Now is not the time to be increasing costs on New Jerseyans.”

Bucco authored an op-ed published by The Record only days after the EMP was released in which he called for an official cost estimate and said, “NJBPU President Joe Fiordaliso may have already let the cat out of the bag when he stated back in April (2019) that the plan is ‘expensive, and we know it is expensive.'”

Oroho and Bucco have both highlighted the plan’s goal to eliminate natural gas use in New Jersey and require mass electric upgrades in homes, even though natural gas heats roughly 80% of homes and creates half of the state’s electricity.

“The EMP will require New Jersey homeowners to convert the heat in their homes to electric, which could cost New Jersey families $20,000 or more. New Jersey is already known for its high cost of living and excessive taxes and there is no way that residents can afford an additional financial burden of such magnitude,” Oroho said. “To be successful, the transition away from carbon fuels to more sustainable alternatives should match the situation on the ground. Consumers and businesses are open to utilizing renewable energy sources, but it should happen incrementally, driven by better and more affordable technology and the natural progression of the marketplace—not foisted on New Jerseyans by the Murphy Administration.”

“I don’t think anyone is against New Jersey utilizing renewable energy sources,” Bucco said. “The problem is that the Governor wants to mandate an aggressive energy plan that gives little consideration to the crushing costs upon seniors, low income families and the middle class, leaving fewer dollars for retirement, a needed car repair, or college savings for their kids. The Governor’s plan even risks higher property tax bills as schools and other taxpayer-owned facilities must retrofit with costly, electric heating equipment. The NJDEP has already acknowledged that the conversion could cost 4 to 5 times more than it currently costs. That is outrageous.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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