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What better what to pump up your green credibility than to bring in the mother of all green activists: Al Gore?
This is exactly what Gov. Phil Murphy did just prior to Thanksgiving when he finally took some action to live up to his campaign promise to expand the state’s renewable energy options.
Gore has become the superstar of the climate change crowd, and so for Murphy bringing in the former vice president helped heal some of the wounds left by Murphy’s long delay in implementing his campaign promises.
Murphy ran for governor in 2017 on an extremely green platform. But environmentalists have been pressuring him ever since to live up to the promises he made.
Murphy – like a Climate Change Hamlet — appeared to delay acting – for instance taking nearly a year to declare his opposition to a power plant proposed in North Bergen or to take adequate steps to actually promote wind generated power.
But since mid-July, the Murphy administration appears to be on a mission to repair the damage to his public perception and to fully embrace in practice what his administration claimed to support.
Standing next to Gore, Murphy set a goal to have offshore wind power generate 7,500 megawatts by 2035.
This would go a long way to producing the 3.5 gigawatts of power that Murphy hopes to have supplied by renewable sources – slightly less than one third of the 9 gigawatts New York State has committed to creating.
A gigawatt is a unit of power equal to one-billion watts, enough energy to supply about 700,000 homes.
This, of course, fits in with Gore’s agenda of reducing or even eliminating sources of power that contribute to greenhouse gases.
Last April, New Jersey set up the New Jersey Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry in an attempt to expand wind industry in the state. In July, the Murphy Administration backed the construction of an offshore wind farm which would use the former Oyster Creek Nuclear plant site in south Jersey.
When contacted for comment, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop did not seem overly impressed with the Murphy-Gore roadshow, even though his goals are similar to theirs.
“I was an advisory board member for Columbia University’s Earth Institute which is one of the premier organizations in the world for researching sustainability,” Fulop said.
This may explain why Jersey City has already taken significant steps to promoting a green agenda – with far less fanfare.
Last May, Jersey City welcoming EnBW, a 100-year old German power company, the leading European offshore wind power developer. The German-based company opened offices in Jersey City with the aim of finding a suitable location nearby to build a wind farm.
Jersey City currently doesn’t have access to enough power to sustain its rate of growth. Fulop hopes that expanding the power grid can be done through the use of green energy.
But this is only one part of a number of green initiatives Jersey City has already undertaken.
“We are about to roll out the most comprehensive incentive program for green infrastructure in the state,” Fulop said.
Among the initiatives include starting to convert the municipal fleet to electric vehicles.
“We have installed public charging stations,” Fulop said.
In regard to issues such as pollution from runoff, the city has created a flood overlay zone to limit storm runoff, Fulop said.