Monmouth County lawmakers call for energy mandate moratorium following Orsted fallout

Monmouth County lawmakers call for energy mandate moratorium following Orsted fallout

Kim Eulner

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywomen Kim Eulner and Marilyn Piperno, of Monmouth County, are calling on legislative leaders to prohibit Gov. Phil Murphy from issuing costly green energy mandates following the offshore wind fallout with Orsted this week. 

“When a multi-billion dollar foreign company like Orsted abandons Murphy’s green energy ambitions because they aren’t economically viable, it should be evident to all lawmakers, even Democrats, that no one can afford to subsidize this administration’s extreme energy agenda,” Eulner and Piperno (R-Monmouth) said. “When the Legislature reconvenes this month, priority number one should be initiating a moratorium on Murphy’s costly energy mandates starting with building electrification and electric vehicles.”

Murphy aims to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050 in part by mandating zero-carbon-emission heating and cooling systems in 400,000 homes and 20,000 commercial properties. This summer, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities supported the goal by approving controversial measures incentivizing the building sector and residents to switch to electric. 

The Division of Rate Counsel warns the plan will increase demand on the electric grid and require expensive upgrades. In addition to the up-front appliance conversion costs, electric heating bills for buildings would be four to five times higher. Single-family homeowners would need to spend at least $20,000 to retrofit their homes with electric HVAC systems according to the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey.

“Unrealistic, expensive and oppressive describe the energy mandates coming out of the front office and endorsed by Democrats,” Eulner said. “Republicans have repeatedly called on Democrats to investigate the true costs of the Energy Master Plan, but we have been rebuffed by Democrats, because they don’t care about spending other people’s – the taxpayer’s – money.”

Marilyn Piperno

The lawmakers warn that Democrats will resort to mandates when they can’t achieve their goals with incentives. 

“Residents have good reason to believe Democrats are coming for their gas stoves, because of how they have handled electric vehicles. When they could no longer get people to purchase electric cars with rebates, they proposed banning gas-powered cars outright,” Piperno added. 

Murphy announced on July 17 an administrative rule change that would ban the sale of new gas-powered cars and mandate electric vehicle sales in New Jersey by 2035. If the rule proposal is adopted by the end of 2023, the sales requirements will begin with model year 2027, when 35% of all vehicles sold must be electric.

“Make no mistake: New Jersey Democrats want to eliminate consumer choice and affordability. They authorize subsidies to a foreign company on the backs of the ratepayers and then feign shock when that company says it can’t afford to go along with their plans,” Piperno and Eulner said. “New Jersey needs to put the interests of New Jerseyans first, which is why we are demanding a stop to the extreme mandates.”

The assemblywomen also sponsor a resolution (AR176) opposing Murphy’s Energy Master Plan because it will financially burden residents.