TRENTON, N.J. – Three times today Republicans tried to get Democrats to focus on rising gas and energy prices, but each time the majority wasn’t interested.
“Today Republicans tried everything in their power to make New Jersey more affordable, and the Democrats stonewalled us,” said Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris). “It was expected, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Skyrocketing gas and energy prices are front and center on everyone’s minds and we could have tackled them today to make a positive difference in the lives of the people we represent. Instead the Democrats played politics and voted for the status quo.”
Webber motioned to convene a committee of the whole, which would have dedicated all 80 members of the Assembly to the task of addressing gas and energy prices. Assemblyman Robert Auth tried to move his resolution urging the President to allow increased production of pipelines. It was denied by the Speaker.
“President Biden said we need energy independence to protect our economy. Well, that was the case before he became President but isn’t the case anymore,” said Auth (R-Bergen). “We can not only achieve energy independence by increasing energy production, but create jobs, lower gas prices and weaken Russia, Iran, Venezuela and other enemy states. This should be a no-brainer.”
Studying the costs of the Energy Master Plan was also proposed today. Assemblyman Christian Barranco proposed that the Board of Public Utilities conduct an analysis of the plan before it goes into effect.
“A problem with government is that cost isn’t important because Democrats are spending other people’s money,” said Barranco (R-Morris). “I am an electrician. The cost of electrifying is very important because many people struggle with utility bills now and the prices are only going to rise under Governor Murphy’s agenda. It doesn’t matter what the majority says, their actions speak louder.”
His proposal referenced state Dept. of Environmental Protection estimates that requiring electric heating systems would cost five times more than current systems. The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations – among the foremost proponents of building electrification – stated it would cost $78,000 to retrofit a home for electric heat. That is fourteen times the Energy Master Plan estimate.