“There is no doubt that renewable energy is the future here in New Jersey,” Chris Christie said when running for the governorship in 2008, comparing himself to Barack Obama. Now, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is on a Koch binge, gutting his state’s investments in clean energy to reward right-wing polluter interests like the Koch brothers. At the end of May, Christie announced that he will pull New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, even though it has strengthened the state’s economy while reducing carbon pollution. He has siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars from clean energy programs to pay for corporate boondoggles. Yesterday, Christie unveiled a new version of his state’s energy master plan that slashes goals for renewable electricity generation:
Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he planned to scale back New Jersey’s goals for renewable energy as he looked for an “achievable” approach to generating electricity in the state.
Christie plans to cut the renewable target from 30 percent of electricity production in 2021 to 22.5 percent, calling the higher figure a “pie-in-the-sky number.” The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce praised Christie for his “business-friendly” decision to scale back investment in job-creating technologies.
Here in New Jersey, unfortunately, we have leadership who likes to talk a lot about renewable energy, but hasn’t done much of anything.
Richard Caperton, Senior Policy Analyst with the Energy Opportunity team at American Progress, notes that Christie is subsidizing a shift from renewables to fossil fuels:
Not only is Christie doing harm to New Jersey’s thriving renewable energy industry, he’s also spending limited taxpayer dollars to provide unnecessary subsidies for new natural gas power plants. New Jersey is now providing up to $2 billion in subsidies for 2000 megawatts of natural gas plants. This is an astonishing $1 per watt, which is about what new construction for natural gas plants is expected to cost. The move is also strongly opposed by other participants in the PJM power markets, especially energy efficiency and demand response businesses who will be harmed by New Jersey’s efforts to distort the market.