Christine’s on staff at Sierra Club-NJ – Rosi
What is the future of New Jersey? Will New Jersey continue to be the polluted view that people get from the Turnpike? Or will it be a clean, bright and innovative future that will make New Jerseyans proud. Governor Christie addressed this very topic in last week’s State of the State. The governor referred to the “New Jersey of our youth”, “setting a national example” and a “step in a very new direction”. Now it us up to the governor and New Jerseyans ensure that is the right direction.
The Garden State’s past has been checkered with pollution and dirty industry. [more below the fold]
Coal plants like PSEG Mercer and Hudson, and BL England continue to spew unhealthy emissions into the present day. Chemical companies and manufacturing have left a blight of toxic waste in the state. But this does not have to be the direction New Jersey continues to move in. As the governor stated, New Jersey has great potential to be a national example.
New Jersey is already leading the rest of the nation into a bright, clean energy future. The governor and New Jersey residents can be proud of this state right now. New Jersey is second in the nation for the number of solar installations and capacity. Atlantic City is the home of the first costal wind farm in the United States. The governor recently signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, which could help make New Jersey the first state to have a full-scale offshore wind farm.
Now Governor Christie has another opportunity to make New Jersey a leader. The New Jersey Energy Master Plan sets goals for energy efficiency and renewable resources. This Plan has been a model for energy policy in other states and has gotten worldwide attention. Rutgers University recently hosted the Counselor for Energy and Environment from the German Embassy. Germany, like New Jersey, is on the forefront of clean and innovative energy technology. The state’s Energy Master Plan has been a catalyst for New Jersey’s leadership in this field.
The Energy Master Plan is currently under review by the Board of Public Utilities. A revised plan will be considered by the governor later this month and will be open for public comment. The governor wants to continue the state’s economic growth, but it does not have to be at the expense of the ambitious goals of the Energy Master Plan. Clean energy technology goes hand in hand with job creation and economic development. By continuing clean energy growth and replacing dirty energy like coal, New Jersey can be both an economic and an environmental leader. This is not only Governor Christie’s vision. This is a future that all New Jersey residents can look forward to.