Windmill Bill Grinds to a Halt in the State Senate – (Then Passes)

Scutari

Initially, no amount of blowing could get the windmill subsidy bill – S-4019 – passed in the state senate this afternoon.

The board locked up at 20-15.

Senator Turner

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: It later passed. Senator Shirley Turner (D-15) supplied the additional vote to get it to 21-15.

“Okay, we’re going to take the bill down,” Senate President Nick Scutari (D-22) (pictured) said early on.

A version of the bill passed earlier today in the Assembly, and Scutari said the senate would revisit the issue with that bill’s amendments.

He did.

Former NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel was glad the controversial bill at first stalled in the senate.

“The Orsted bailout bill is a for-big-profits giant waste of money,” Tittel said.

This release just popped into InsiderNJ’s inbox, FYI:

CAPE MAY COUNTY CALLS ON SENATOR BOB SMITH NOT TO CAVE TO BIG WIND SPECIAL INTERESTS

OCEAN CITY, NJ, 4pm June 30, 2023:  The County of Cape May Board of Commissioners

Smith
Senator Bob Smith

Director Len Desiderio issued the following statement with regard to NJ Senate Bill 4019:

Senate Bill 4019 hangs by a thread at this hour because it is bad for New Jersey electricity customers.  The scheme to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives away from ratepayers and into the pockets of a foreign corporation was always a bed idea.  It amounts to a regressive tax on hard working New Jerseyans all over the state who will have higher electric bills as a result.  It also enables the despoiling of our Atlantic Coast, threatens our tourism and fisheries industries and has pushed aside all local opposition and concerns.

The word out of Trenton right now is that Senator Bob Smith is scheduled to return from a trip out West later tonight and the vote is going to remain open until he can be brought to the Statehouse.

On behalf of the families, visitors and small businesses of Cape May County, I am urging Senator Smith to vote “No” or abstain on this terrible bill.   By having the courage to do so, Senator Smith will shift the financial burden for construction of offshore windmills off the backs of New Jerseyans and onto Orsted, a multinational, for-profit corporation that is majority owned by the Danish government.  How anyone ever thought this bill was a good idea is astonishing.  It is now completely up to Senator Smith to do the right thing for the people of New Jersey.

This is not a partisan issue.  It is a fairness issue.  It is a household economics issue.  It is a New Jersey family pocketbook issue.  And Senator Smith can send a clear message that he support New Jerseyans and not the profit margins of a massive, foreign corporation.

BUT – again – IT PASSED by the end of the day, with the help of Senator Turner.

“This bill puts offshore wind on a fairer playing field with the nuke and fossil fuel industries which we keep throwing billions at. Offshore wind is New Jersey’s single best contribution to tackling the climate crisis and its induced heat domes and dirty air, saving whales, growing New Jersey’s economy, creating good local jobs, and improving public health,” said Clean Water Action’s David Pringle. “Kudos to the Assembly and we can’t wait for the Senate to pass it and Governor Murphy to sign it within hours!”

 

From the bill:

As amended, A-5651 permits certain qualified offshore wind projects to retain certain federal tax benefits that were established after project approval.  These federal tax benefits were established in order to bolster and support the offshore wind industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique macroeconomic challenges the pandemic posed.

The bill permits a qualified offshore wind project approved prior to July 1, 2019 to elect to retain certain incremental federal tax benefits.  The bill defines “incremental federal tax benefit” to mean a federal tax credit, subsidy, grant, or other funding source that was established or increased after a qualified offshore wind project’s approval and, therefore, was not previously identified in the project’s awarded solicitation agreement.  These incremental federal tax benefits primarily include tax benefits established pursuant to the federal “Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2022,” the federal “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” and section 41 of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

For the calculation of each incremental federal tax benefit, the project’s total approved eligible costs are multiplied by the difference between the incremental federal tax benefit applicable to the project and the corresponding benefit identified in each qualified offshore wind project’s approved OREC pricing proposal.  Additionally, each qualified offshore wind project is permitted to retain a portion of the federal tax credits received by the project, calculated by multiplying (1) the tax credit rate identified in the project’s approved pricing proposal by (2) the difference between the project’s total approved eligible costs and the project’s estimated costs at bid.

In addition to expressing other reasons why the bill doesn’t work, Republicans worry that the controversial tax break won’t necessarily benefit New Jersey workers.

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5 responses to “Windmill Bill Grinds to a Halt in the State Senate – (Then Passes)”

  1. Please, Please do not pass this horrific bill that will completely devastate the entire coast of and cost New Jersey tax paying residents more for electricity and more taxes!!

  2. Two micro-nuclear reactor powered electrical generating facilities along with a robust strategically redundant distribution system would put an end to this nonsense which is a taxpayer ripoff !

  3. Unbelievable spit in the face to NJ residents struggling to afford to live here and of course a big loss to the coastal ecosystem. So sad that the corruption and greed is so blatant. Vote them out, they don’t have our best interests at heart.

  4. Unbelievable spit in the face to NJ residents struggling to afford to live here and of course a big loss to the coastal ecosystem. So sad that the corruption and greed is so blatant.

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