Elizabeth Commits to 100% Renewable Energy
Mayor J. Christian Bollwage has announced that the city of Elizabeth, NJ will be committing to a goal of 100% Renewable Energy. This commitment is part of the Sierra Club Mayors for 100 Clean Energy campaign. The campaign is calling on all Mayors, regardless of political party, from big cities and small towns, to support a vision of 100% clean and renewable energy in their cities, towns, and communities, and across the country. Mayors have a powerful role in making 100% a reality, and a powerful voice to help us spread the message. So far, 177 Mayors across the country have taken the pledge.
“It’s critically important for cities like Elizabeth to move to 100% renewable energy. This is way of not only helping themselves but working with other cities to make a green economy a reality. This effort is not just passing a resolution; it includes putting in place ordinances to actually make this goal a reality. Elizabeth is the fourth largest city in New Jersey with population of around 125,000. Transitioning to clean energy makes communities stronger and healthier. Clean energy, such as solar and wind power, as well as technologies like electric vehicles, reduce pollution and climate change affects. They also provide economic stimuli with increased jobs. The Mayor has pledged to transition Elizabeth away from dirty fuels and towards a cleaner, greener environment and economy,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We want to congratulate the city of Elizabeth and thank Mayor Bollwage for this commitment to 100% renewable energy. They are joining other municipalities in the state that have committed to 100% renewable energy including Union, Ewing, Franklin Twp., Franklin Lakes, and Tenafly.”
In April, President Trump signed a broad executive order today intended to kill federal action on climate change and push fossil fuels over renewable energy. A major part of the Executive Order was to eliminate the Clean Power Plan as well as lifting the moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands, increasing the limits on methane leaks, and rescinding National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidance that directs agencies to account for the climate crisis. Another piece of the order will direct the Bureau of Land Management to rescind the 2015 rule updating controls on hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands, as well as eliminate review of emissions standards for new oil and gas operations. These actions will threaten green jobs, our economy, while putting more people at risk to climate change.
“Elizabeth’s commitment to renewable energy becomes even more important because of what’s happening in Washington with Donald Trump. Trump’s tax bill gives large subsidies to fossil fuel companies while cutting funding for important climate and clean air and water protections. It is also a clear assault on renewable energy including wind, electric vehicles, and solar power. This is only part of his war on the environment and clean energy. He has rolled back the Clean Power Plan, pulled the US out of the Paris Accords, and consistently favored coal, oil and gas over renewable energy,” said Jeff Tittel. “It’s more important than ever that local and state governments fight back against the Trump Administration’s anti-clean energy agenda by adopting their own goals and standards.”
The Sierra Club is currently supporting legislation to get New Jersey to the goal of 100% renwable energy by 2050. For example, S3433 (Codey) requires that, by energy year 2050, all electric power sold in NJ by each electric power supplier and basic generation provider be from Class I renewable energy sources. An important step in reaching our 2050 reduced emission goals is to improve renewable energy and energy efficiency. We need to increase the state Renewable Portfolio Standard and establish an energy efficiency portfolio standard. We must incorporate energy efficiency into our building codes and other aspects of policy-making.
“It’s incredibly important that individual cities and towns are committing to 100% renewable energy. As we fight in the legislature for this to be the goal of all of New Jersey, having the support and commitment of cities like Elizabeth will make a big difference. Our state can be a leader nationally in clean energy and clean energy jobs if we aggressively move forward with renewable energy such as solar, wind, and geothermal. We need to pass legislation that encourages homeowners and businesses to invest in solar power. This will help deal with climate change while growing our economy. We need this commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, grow our economy, and produce green jobs,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We applaud Mayor Bollwage and the city for committing to 100% renewable energy and the health, safety, and environment of the community of Elizabeth.”