Too Good to be True?

When I was bringing up my children, it was always tough to get them to clean their rooms. So on occasions when I found their rooms neat and tidy, I was skeptical, suspected an ulterior motive, and I was usually right.

So how should I react when a Republican New Jersey Senator, a woman who invariably toes the line on Chris Christie’s energy policies, promotes an approach to energy that has been denigrated and unsupported by the Christie administration? Is there something there that I don’t understand?

Along with Chris Brown, her compatriot in the Assembly, Senator Dawn Marie Addiego has announced that she will be introducing a bill to promote the use of solar energy on state projects. Specifically, the bill would give priority to state construction projects that include solar generation and that return excess energy to the power grid (for a credit).

According to a press release from Addiego’s office, the proposed projects must be approved by the Board of Public Utilities – an entity that, like the governor, has not been proactive in promoting renewable energy.

It’s difficult for me to understand why such a bill is coming from a Christie acolyte and not from some of the more enthusiastic supporters of clean energy like Senator Bob Smith and Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula.

I welcome this initiative, and hope there’s no hidden catch in the legislation that enriches the electric companies or otherwise hurts consumers and taxpayers.  When I asked Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, about this bill, he provided this comment:

“We believe giving priorities for schools and other governmental entities for solar arrays is important step forward in clean energy. Reserving space on the grid is needed to make sure these projects can get built. This will save taxpayer money and protect the environment because green equals green/ We support the concept of this bill [and] are looking forward to reading it once it is available and may have more comment then.”

I agree with Jeff. Hopefully when the bill becomes available, my skepticism will be proven to be unwarranted.

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