Climate advocates call on New Jersey leaders to pass legislation to deliver economic, health and climate benefits of clean energy

100% clean electricity by 2035 coupled with $183 million in federal incentives can dramatically lower energy costs for New Jersey residents

Trenton, NJ —- Today members of Clean Energy Action Now (CLEAN) came together to support legislation to increase affordability, deliver cleaner air, and accelerate the Garden State’s climate goals. The Clean Energy Act of 2023 (S2978), sponsored by Sen. Bob Smith, would accelerate New Jersey’s clean energy transition by ensuring New Jersey utilities deliver 100% clean electricity by 2035 with minimal impacts to New Jersey energy bills, further reducing the state’s reliance on fossil fuels in the next decade.

This bill has strong provisions that ensure the continued growth of clean resources in New Jersey while protecting ratepayers, and continues to build a strong clean energy economy in New Jersey. A new report from E2 shows the importance of the clean energy economy in New Jersey, which is the 4th fastest-growing state for clean energy jobs. Clean energy jobs grew 2.5 times faster than the overall state economy and the sector currently accounts for 56,000 jobs, with the largest number – 25,000 jobs – in construction.
The Clean Energy Act of 2023 supports a continued build-out of near term investments in solar and longer-term wind investments that can help the state meet these ambitious, but achievable, clean energy goals while creating more than 30,0000 family-sustaining prevailing wage, predominantly union, jobs in New Jersey’s electric generation sector in just 12 years. This includes approximately 24,000 new jobs building, operating, and maintaining electricity generators by 2035, including about 10,000 jobs in large-scale solar PV and about 7,000 jobs in offshore wind.
Below are quotes from climate advocates in support of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035:

Eric Miller, Director of New Jersey Energy Policy at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):
“For too long, fossil fuel interests have worked hard to spread misinformation and delay New Jersey’s clean energy future, putting industry profits above people. Yet despite this pressure, New Jersey legislators recognize that a future for New Jersey powered by 100% clean energy is not only feasible, but achievable in the next 12 years. Let’s move boldly toward a healthier, more affordable future and adopt 100% clean energy by 2035.”

Tom Gilbert, Campaign Director, ReThink Energy New Jersey.
“We’ve just experienced the hottest 12 months on record. There has never been a more important time to support policies that accelerate New Jersey’s clean energy future. Let’s embrace this opportunity to improve air quality and public health, create family-sustaining jobs in clean energy, and reduce costly utility bills. An equitable clean energy transition will benefit all New Jerseyans for generations to come.”

Anjuli Ramos-Busot, NJ State Director for the Sierra Club:
“A healthier, more resilient future begins with achieving 100% clean electricity, and provides a solid foundation for electrifying transportation and buildings. As New Jersey invests in programs to increase affordability and new incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act become available next year for households to adopt the latest, most efficient electric equipment in their homes, we must move swiftly toward a future free from fossil fuels. Strengthening our commitment to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035 recognizes the challenges we face today and ensures that we can achieve cleaner air, healthier communities, and a more affordable New Jersey as fast as possible.”

Barbara Blumenthal, New Jersey Conservation Foundation:
“The timing is right to take advantage of massive federal investments in clean electricity passed in the Inflation Reduction Act that puts achieving 100% clean electricity at a deep discount for New Jersey, making the state’s carbon-free electricity goals cheaper to achieve on a faster timeline while ensuring New Jersey customers will see their energy bills remain comparable to or lower than what they have paid in recent years. As New Jerseyans take advantage of federal incentives to adopt everything from electric vehicles to better insulation and the most efficient electric equipment like heat pumps in their homes, this legislation will ensure that our clean energy future will be powered by a clean grid, slashing emissions across every sector of the economy.”

Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey LCV
“Earlier this month with the elections, voters sent a clear message to Trenton: it’s time to take bold steps toward building a clean energy future in New Jersey to reduce pollution, create good instate local jobs, improve public health, ensure affordability and end our reliance on dirty fossil fuels. New Jersey LCV’s top priority is to pass legislation to adopt 100% clean electricity in New Jersey by 2035 which will set a road map for our clean energy economy to protect residents and future generations from the rising costs of climate change and poor air quality for decades to come. We will continue to work with Legislative leaders to hone this legislation and codify Governor Murphy’s goal into law in a responsible manner.”

Ben Butterworth, Director: Climate, Energy & Equity Analysis, Acadia Center:
“New Jerseyans have already paid dearly for the cost of climate change, from hotter, more deadly summers to more frequent, more intense natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy that damaged hundreds of thousands of homes across the state. Today’s legislation to achieve 100% clean electricity by 2035 takes a massive step toward reducing New Jersey’s climate-warming emissions, but more must be done to ensure that residents can access the health, economic, and climate benefits of pollution-free homes.”


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