NEW JERSEY – Senate Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco said Governor Phil Murphy is trying to circumvent the Legislature as he moves forward with implementing his expensive and extreme green energy plan, which includes an effort to phase out affordable natural gas that currently heats millions of New Jersey homes and businesses.
“Governor Murphy is quietly moving forward with an expensive plan to phase out natural gas and fully electrify homes and businesses that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to implement,” said Bucco (R-25). “Instead of asking the Legislature to review and consider this major proposal in an open and transparent manner, he’s rushing it through the opaque regulatory process at the BPU to limit public input.”
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) issued a preliminary road map for electrifying all homes and businesses in the state on June 7.
At the time, Bucco warned that “there wasn’t a single mention of the expected cost or of the mandates that are likely to be necessary to force the conversion of the 80% of New Jersey homes that currently rely on clean natural gas for heating, cooking, and hot water.”
The public comment period ended on June 27, and the BPU is set to adopt the proposal on July 12.
“This is yet another example of the Murphy administration’s penchant for quickly implementing major policy changes without giving people or their elected legislators a real chance to digest what they’re trying to do,” Bucco said. “If you’re constantly doing things in the dark of night, it’s probably because you know what you’re doing is wrong.”
Governor Murphy has never said how much his green energy plan will cost to fully implement, but an independent estimate pegs the cost to New Jerseyans at $1.4 trillion, Bucco said.
In February, Bucco introduced the “Energy Security and Affordability Act,” S-3684, to address the significant concerns with the governor’s extreme Energy Master Plan, including cost.
The legislation requires the BPU to consider energy security, diversity, and affordability and to perform an economic and ratepayer impact analysis of the governor’s green energy plans, Bucco said.
A Republican effort to bring the bill up for a vote by the full Senate was blocked by Democrats on June 21.
“Governor Murphy and Trenton Democrats blocked our Republican effort to lower energy bills while rubberstamping a $1 billion bailout for a foreign wind developer,” Bucco said. “They clearly don’t understand that New Jersey ratepayers can’t afford green energy at any cost, and they’ll never understand if people don’t get a real chance to comment on these proposals in open and public legislative hearings.”