Newark — Calling for the state to return to prominence in clean energy and climate science leadership to create jobs, Phil Murphy has proposed a wide-ranging and game-changing clean energy plan that would restore New Jersey’s place as a leader in the defense against climate change and ensure the promise of clean energy reaches into every community.
“For our state’s environmental and economic futures, this is nothing short of a time of action. I am prepared to be a governor of action, who turns our state’s thinking around, and who sets us on a future course to both do well and do good, and to prove that economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive,” said Murphy. “We can base a new and stronger middle class on innovation and clean energy, and ensure all communities take part.”
“Phil Murphy’s plan for putting New Jersey on a path to achieve the highest standards in America, 100 percent clean energy by 2050, sets the bar for every governor in the United States,” said Gene Karpinski, national president of the League of Conservation Voters. “States are on the front lines of addressing the climate crisis, and as governor his vision will ensure significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions and send a strong message to the Trump administration.”
“Phil Murphy is the best candidate when it comes to a green energy economy and he has the plan that proves it. We strongly believe this plan will grow our economy through clean energy jobs — with thousands of good paying jobs and new economic investment — and will significantly reduce greenhouse gasses,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “As governor, he’ll see that we return to RGGI, expand solar, and finally make off-shore wind power a reality. New Jersey used to be a national leader in renewable and green jobs, and with Phil’s plan and vision, we will be there again.”
“The fossil fuel-induced climate crisis is an existential threat to the people of New Jersey, especially in environmental justice communities. Fortunately, a swift transition to truly clean, green renewable energy will not only avert this threat but also create more jobs and economic growth than the current business as usual path,” said David Pringle, New Jersey Campaign Director for Clean Water Action. “The clean-energy agenda Phil Murphy just released — a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 with strong, specific, interim benchmarks in 2018, 2021, and 2030 concerning planning, storage, and offshore wind — provides a strong framework to make that transition happen.”
Murphy noted that moving to a clean-energy economy would encourage innovation and create jobs, as every $1 spent on early-stage clean energy research and development generates an additional $1.60 in output from other sectors of the economy. He said his plan would maximize this potential, in large part, supporting innovation and R&D in higher education.
Murphy said he also would ensure that the benefits of clean energy reach all communities as a matter of environmental and economic justice.
“Too often, conversations about climate change have ignored the disproportionate impact on lower-income and politically vulnerable communities, yet the environmental concerns in these communities are staggering,” said Murphy, noting that, in Newark, as many as one in four children have asthma. “We must ensure environmental justice as a core principle.”
Murphy committed, within his first 100 days in office, to starting the process of creating a new State Energy Master Plan to set New Jersey on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050, with higher renewable standards to motivate public and private sector actors to adapt and expand the clean energy market. He said this new State Energy Master Plan would further grow the clean energy sector and energy efficiency programs:
- Setting the most ambitious offshore wind target in the country – 3,500MW of offshore wind generation by 2030, enough to power 1.5 million homes.
- Prioritizing solar energy expansion and ensuring that New Jersey regains its status as a national leader in solar energy production and job creation — including the establishment of a community solar program, allowing low-income communities to work together to afford clean energy options.
- Establishing New Jersey as a leader in clean energy storage, with a goal of 600 MW of energy storage by 2021 and 2000 MW of storage deployed by 2030.
- Increasing funding and providing market incentives for energy efficiency.
Murphy also said that he would make rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) one of his first acts in office. He noted that since Governor Christie unilaterally pulled New Jersey from the multi-state climate change compact in May 2011, the state has lost an estimated $130 million in carbon auction revenues that could have gone to investing in energy research and development, clean energy production, energy efficiency and resiliency projects, and efforts to ensure environmental justice. He said those funds could have had an impact of generating 1,300 jobs and more than $200 million in new economic output.
He added that his first budget would reinstate the Office of Climate Change within the Department of Environmental Protection to ensure impartial, fact-based scientific principles guide state policy. Governor Christie disbanded the office in 2010.
“We must listen to the scientific experts who know best how we should respond to the reality of a changing climate. I will restore basic respect for climate science,” said Murphy. “The decision to cut the office was part of the false choice Governor Christie has foisted upon our state — that we can have either economic growth or environmental protection. We must come to recognize that the two go hand-in-hand.”
The Murphy plan also would invest in energy resiliency, aiming to prevent the long-term power outages such as those experienced following Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Irene in 2011. Under Murphy’s proposal, New Jersey would embark on a path toward a more resilient and sustainable energy future by:
- Prioritizing investment in resilient electric grid infrastructure, such as smart grids, micro-grids, and advanced metering.
- Electrifying transportation to cut emissions, which represents 40 percent of NJ’s greenhouse gas emissions, including through investment in electric car charging stations.