TRENTON – Environmentalists blasted a new energy master plan unveiled by Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday.
The governor indicated potential support for a new nuclear power plant to replace Oyster Creek, which is due to shut down within 10 years. The new plan also lowers the target for the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, from 30 percent to 22½ percent.
“New Jersey is going from being a national clean energy leader to a state that takes the side of fossil fuels and nuclear over the environment and economy of New Jersey. Governor Christie is being fossil foolish,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the NJ Sierra Club.
The new plan was released two weeks after the governor pulled out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state program that aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to global climate change. States participating in the program sell emission allowances through auctions and invest the proceeds in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
Christie said that he pulled out of the program because it was “gimmicky” and a “failure,” but many believe he did it to appeal to conservatives on the national stage.
“Any plan that relies on alternative energy such as wind and solar is a good thing, but like most things with this governor the devil is going to be in the details,” said Assembly Environment Committee Chairman John McKeon (D-Essex.) “The governor may talk a lot about his commitment to [clean energy] goals, but his decision to remove New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative shows his actions don’t match his words. That’s why a close analysis of this energy master plan is going to be required.”
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