Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Legislation calls for 80% non-fossil energy for NJ by 2050

**Updated at 4:20 p.m. to add NJ Spotlight story. See 'Related' below**

Eighty percent of all electricity sold in New Jersey would have to come from renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power if a bill that cleared a Senate committee Monday becomes law.

John C. Ensslin of The Record reports today:

The measure mandates that starting with 11 percent by 2017, the percentage of renewable energy increases 10 percent every five years until it reaches 80 percent, a schedule the bill’s sponsor Sen. Bob Smith called “pretty aggressive” but not when compared to what other states are doing.

“New Jersey needs to be a leader in renewable energy because we are so impacted by global climate,” Smith, D-Middlesex, said shortly after the Senate Environment and Energy Committee he chairs voted unanimously to refer the bill for a vote by the full Senate.

“The truth is that renewables are becoming cheaper and cheaper,” Smith added. “It’s good public policy. It’s good for the rate payers. It’s good for our health and it helps reduce global climate change.”

Critics of the measure, however, predicted the bill would drive up already high bills by forcing utilities to buy more costly wind and solar power rather than rely on coal or natural gas and a free-market approach.

NJ Spotlight provides an intro to the bill, S-1707 
NJ Spotlight's Tom Johnson covers the hearing 

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