Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed a landmark clean energy bill, requiring New Jersey to achieve the highest standard for renewable energy in the country—over 50% of the state’s portfolio must come from clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind by 2030, a fourfold increase over the achievements made since 2001. Additionally, the Governor also signed an executive order directing the BPU to update the Energy Supply Master Plan to move New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2050.
The clean renewable energy bill A3723/S2314 passed both chambers of the New Jersey state legislature on April 12th with widespread, bipartisan support.
Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, explained, “Last fall voters overwhelmingly supported leaders who said they would stand up for New Jersey’s environment; today we saw real clean energy leadership. The Clean Renewable Energy Bill is a down payment on Governor Murphy’s commitment to 100% clean energy by 2050 and helps create thousands of good local jobs in the renewable economy."
New Jersey LCV was the first environmental group to endorse then-candidate Phil Murphy and spent over $400,000 in the primary and general gubernatorial election, including sending 284,000 direct mail pieces to voters and reaching over 250,000 voters through their digital campaign. It was at New Jersey LCV’s endorsement event that Governor Murphy publicly announced for the first time that he would commit New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2050.
Since taking office, Governor Murphy has aggressively pursued pro-conservation initiatives to combat climate change and propel New Jersey to be the greenest state in America. In the wake of President Trump’s anti-environmental agenda and rollbacks, states are the front lines for advancing climate protections, and Governor Murphy has stepped up to the plate. Murphy signed a bill entering New Jersey into the U.S. Climate Alliance which upholds the goals of the Paris Climate Accord, and signed a bill banning offshore drilling off the coast of New Jersey. Murphy also signed several executive orders, including reentering New Jersey into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, banning fracking in the Delaware River, creating the largest offshore wind commitment in the America, and ensuring environmental justice communities shape decisions that affect their air, land, and water.
“The clean energy bill is a great down payment on Governor Murphy’s commitment to 100% clean energy by 2050. I couldn’t be more thrilled the Governor took this initiative one step further today by signing an executive order to update the energy supply plan toward the 100% clean energy goal,” said Ed Potosnak.
Other highlights of the clean renewable energy bill include creating an Energy Efficiency program that would decrease emissions, a community solar program that ensures all customers including low-income and multi-family communities have access to the benefits of solar energy, and a strict cost cap for what we pay for electricity. The bill’s energy efficiency requirement puts estimates of the number of workers in the industry at over 100,000—for comparison, in 2016, 31,000 New Jerseyans worked in energy efficiency jobs.