TRENTON, N.J. – As Gov. Phil Murphy rushes full steam ahead with his energy master plan, one Assemblyman wants to apply the brakes to what he believe is an ambitious but ultimately misguided plan.
Assemblyman Sean Kean says residents, especially young families and seniors, cannot afford to subsidize the governor’s natural-gas-free vision for the future. The Energy Master Plan, enacted in 1977 and updated by the governor by executive order in 2019, calls for the state to be 100% green by 2050. Solar and wind will power the Garden State, 35% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
“The only thing Governor Murphy’s energy plan will clean out is people’s bank accounts,” Kean (R-Monmouth) said. “Our residents already pay among the most expensive energy bills in the nation, and now the Governor wants the utility customers to bear this tremendous cost.”
Three out of every four homes in the state uses natural gas for heating and cooking. Natural gas also provides more than half the state’s electricity. Electric customers will foot the bill 9% initial surcharge, which will cost customers $1.2 billion annually. It will cost untold billions more to replace boilers, gas appliances and vehicles.
Besides the cost to customers, solar and wind power presently remain dilute and intermittent – weak and unreliable.
“The problem with clean energy is that you need a back-up power source to ensure continuity, the very sources the governor wants to eliminate for the common good. I support the development of cheap, reliable alternative energy sources; however, we cannot eliminate natural gas now.”