Tag Archive: wind energy

Anatomy of Christie-Era Unemployment: Clean Energy

Yesterday, we had the first installment of “Anatomy of Christie-Era Unemployment” in response to the Star Ledger Editorial saying not to blame Christie.

Following yesterday’s focus on the jobs that the Star Ledger themselves say would have been created from the ARC tunnel project Christie canceled, today we move onto clean energy.  Flashback to this editorial from the Star Ledger on Feb 26, 2012: (Emphasis Mine)

He has proposed grabbing $210 million from the state’s Clean Energy Fund, strangling a program that is devoted mostly to conservation efforts.

This money comes from electricity consumers who pay a surcharge on their bills each month. It pays for green workers to install insulation at hospitals and town halls across the state. It helps subsidize retrofits to homes. Some of it helps subsidize green-energy projects.

Cutting money for workers to actually have a job and additional money for projects that would put people to work. That sounds like Christie had a pretty direct impact on unemployment. The editorial continued: (Emphasis mine)

So let’s summarize: Christie’s money grab would increase energy costs, kill green jobs and lead to more air pollution.

And then Deciminyan noted in a previous diary that Christie’s Inaction has cost thousands jobs in South Jersey:

Governor Christie’s refusal to move forward the process for wind energy has cost several thousand jobs in South Jersey while maintaining further dependence on dirty energy. So those 2,000 people can blame the governor.

Just more examples of Christie era unemployment, but again how is he not to blame for unemployment?

In This Race Between Christie and O’Malley, I’m Rooting for Christie

Take a break from the Tampa Christiepalooza, and read about an issue that will affect our economy and our overall health…

There’s a chance that Chris Christie may face Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in the race for President in 2016. That’s a race I’d work hard for an O’Malley win. But there’s another race – today – between these two men, and that’s one that I’d like Chris Christie to win, even though he’s not acting like he’s even in the game.

The race I’m referring to is to become the predominant state for the offshore wind manufacturing and support industry. The Atlantic Ocean is a ripe territory to harness this energy, both in terms of favorable wind patterns and proximity to millions of consumers. In this race, O’Malley is preparing his state to reap these economic benefits while Christie has hitched his energy wagon to the Koch Brothers and the “drill, baby, drill” GOP platform.

Two years ago, Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA), but his administration has been stagnant on providing regulations and support to make any progress. Today, at the site of the Paulsboro Marine Terminal, elected officials and the Director of the Sierra Club held a press conference to urge the governor to take action.

The site, across the river from Philadelphia International Airport, is 193 acres, formerly an oil tank storage facility. It’s been remediated and is ready for economic development.

Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club opened the press conference, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley spoke. Sweeney indicated that there are developers interested in the site, adjacent to the Delaware River and major overland highways, but nothing can happen until the governor directs his bureaucracy to issue the required permits and regulations. Once this happens, several thousand jobs will be created. These are manufacturing jobs to build the turbines, blades, and other portions of the offshore wind farms, and support jobs for transportation and distribution. But if we wait too long, other states like Maryland may beat us in becoming the center of wind energy on the east coast.

I spoke with Senator Sweeney right after the press conference – his remarks are below. The entire press conference may be found below the fold. I’ll also be posting my interview with Jeff Tittel on a number of other environmental issues later this week.





What if the Entire United States and Canada were Without Electric Power this Summer?

An intriguing question – and I’ll discuss that below. But first, let’s talk about energy in general. Within state government, there’s no one better or more passionate about fixing our nation’s energy problems than Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula.

An engineer by training, Chivukula is the “go to” person in the Assembly on all things related to our crumbling power infrastructure, and how to bring it into the 21st century. Chivukula not only gets the technology, but understands the business and jobs implications of energy legislation.

Earlier today, I spoke with him on the floor of the Assembly chamber about a solar energy bill that he sponsored, and (to his credit) Governor Christie has recently signed.

We also talked about other non-solar renewable energy initiatives, and the power outage in India that affected more people than live in the U.S. and Canada combined. Could it happen here?

And lest you think I’ve gone soft by complimenting Governor Christie, I spoke with Chivukula and Assemblyman John McKeon about the governor’s veto of our state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. My interview with McKeon will be posted soon.

Also, stay tuned to Blue Jersey for another interview with Upendra Chivukula – this one on his challenge to Leonard Lance for the Seventh District congressional seat. Coming soon!





Why does the Tea Party fear children with kites?

Oh the humanity! Children flying kites on the beach! You'd think New Jersey was under attack by terrorists with Predator Kites if you believed the panic Americans for Prosperity are in over a planned celebration of Global Wind Day by the Sierra Club.

 The Koch-backed AFP is organizing a counter-protest to uphold the “rights” of the billionaire carbon fuel barons, and defend oil and coal subsidies from attack by “Kids with Kites” supporting clean, renewable energy. How daring and patriotic of AFP!

Just what are these “environmental extremists” thinking in their support public investment in a local clean-energy industry? Big tax subsidies belong solely to big oil & coal companies, right? 

Wrong!

The “Battle on the Beach” is garnering national attention, as witnessed by this Maddow Blog entry, and a write-up by Stephen Lacey on the ThinkProgress Cllimate Progress blog.

The Wind Beneath our (Economic) Wings

There’s a term going around these days – “disruptive technology.” It refers to innovations that result in a totally new way of using technology to do something that causes an existing technology to rapidly become obsolete. One example is portable music players. Soon they will completely supplant compact disk recordings, which itself was a disruptive technology that replaced cassette tapes.

Generation of electrical energy from wind is not strictly a disruptive technology because it will not totally replace fossil fuels (at least in the near term), but it does hold the promise of clean energy while reducing our dependence on dirty fuels like coal, oil, and uranium.

Phil Hart wouldn’t want Ted Glick in the slammer

Ted Glick is in trouble with the law. He hung a big banner inside the Hart Senate Office Building. And now there’s a good chance he will go to jail.

D.C.’s Fox News: has the whole crime on video , below. Glick draped a long, green banner from a high balcony inside Hart: GREEN JOBS NOW! GET TO WORK!

Yeah. Glick, of Bloomfield was lobbying. As sure as the slick corporate lobbyists who trawl the Hart Senate Office Building every day, sniffing out decision-makers to influence, Ted Glick was there to do the same thing. It isn’t quite my lobbying style – the 30 young activists with him were making wind sounds and handing out tiny paper windmills. But as the 73-day-old largest oil spill in US history would suggest, maybe it’s time to replace a calm, detached style of lobbying, with the passion activists actually feel. Glick and his friends weren’t there about BP, but they were there because they knew over-reliance on fossil fuels was a story with a bad ending. I can’t see the harm in Glick’s action, certainly not one worthy of incarceration. In a better world, the Senate listens. Lobbying is something denizens of the Hart Senate Office Building are quite used to.

And I would argue, it’s something Phil Hart might have opened his door to. In his lifetime, Phil Hart was called The Conscience of the Senate –  a name that passed, upon his 1976 death  to Paul Wellstone & Robert Byrd. And context matters; the Hart Senate Office Building was named for Phil Hart.

Let me tell you a couple things about Phil Hart, who I knew just a little when I was a kid in Detroit.

First of all, he was married to Janey, a founder of NOW, one of the Mercury 13, whose training helped convince NASA (years later) to send women into space, who in 1972, refused to pay taxes toward the Viet Nam War.

As our friends at Michigan Liberal note, Phil Hart was a liberal in the best of traditions. He met with veterans protesting Vietnam when almost no one else did. He grew the only beard in the Senate, in solidarity with anti-war protesters.  Phil Hart was a fighter for social justice of an era when impassioned protest was common, unremarkable, and respected. Do you think Phil Hart would have let Ted Glick go to the slammer without intervention? No, he’d have been on the side of the saints, an agitator in the Senate itself, trying to move its direction.

He chaired the Antitrust and Environment Subcommittees in the Senate, for chrissake.

Let’s not send Ted Glick to jail.

Awarding the nation’s 1st offshore wind leases

New Jersey seems to be helping lead the way with wind energy:

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday awarded five leases to four companies who want to develop windmills along the Outer Continental Shelf. The leases allow the companies to build meteorological towers to gather information about the wind six to 18 miles offshore.

[snip]

The exploratory leases, the first of their kind ever issued by the federal government, went to Bluewater Wind New Jersey Energy; Fishermen’s Energy of New Jersey; Deepwater Wind, which is doing two projects; and Bluewater Wind Delaware.

“New Jersey’s Outer Continental Shelf is a resource that holds great promise for our energy independence and should be considered a haven for the clean, renewable and environmentally friendly energy that wind power provides,” Gov. Jon Corzine said.

And Jeff Tittel didn’t miss the opportuinty to deliver a one liner:

“We see this as a positive change from the Bush administration’s energy plan,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We are moving from drill baby, drill, to wind baby, wind.”

Here’s video from the press conference announcing the leases:

The article says they hope to have the first meteorological tower up and running off the coast next summer. We may want to get Secretary Salazar a place to stay with all his visits to the state.