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Environmentalists Urge Bolder, Cleaner Energy Plan

Date : Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:46:42 -0400

For Immediate Release: Contact: Matt Elliott, Environment NJ (908) 217-2496
July 9, 2008 Jeff Tittel, Sierra Club (609) 656-7612 David Pringle, NJEF (732) 996-4288; Kim Gaddy, No. Jersey Envl. Justice Alliance, 973-704-4312

PRESS RELEASE

Environmentalists Urge Bolder, Cleaner Energy Plan Public can weigh in on Gov's Plan Tomorrow at 1st of 3 Public Hearings

Trenton, NJ - New Jersey's largest environmental and environmental justice groups today called on Governor Corzine to improve his draft Energy Master Plan (EMP) by including more ambitious goals for renewable energy and energy efficiency. They also urged the public to promote clean energy and combat global warming the day before the EMP's first public hearing.

"This is a New Jersey's chance to lead the nation toward a clean energy future," stated Matt Elliott, Global Warming and Clean Energy Advocate at Environment New Jersey. "The decisions we make today will impact our ability to tackle global warming for decades to come."

The groups called on the governor to place greater emphasis on promoting renewable energy in the state, and supported a goal of generating enough renewable electricity to power roughly 1.8 million NJ households by 2020. In addition, they encouraged the governor to set a goal of generating 40% of the state's electricity needs from renewable sources by 2025.

"New Jersey has tremendous renewable energy resources," said Jeff Tittel of Sierra Club - NJ Chapter. "We have the technologies at our fingertips, and need a bold plan from the Governor to maximize our potential. Without that, the Global Warming Response Act is just more hot air."

Corzine released the draft EMP in April. While it included plans for clean energy, a coalition of environmental groups and businesses criticized the plan for falling short on clean energy and endorsing new power plant construction. Today the groups released (details attached) a platform of changes to the plan to promote clean energy and combat global warming.

"This is our last, best chance to break our dependence on foreign oil and dirty, dangerous domestic energy sources," added David Pringle of the NJ Environmental Federation. "By curbing our energy demand below today's levels, and rapidly expanding clean renewables, we can improve public health, combat global warming, and improve national security."

In addition to expanding the state's clean energy goals, the groups called on the governor to

* reduce emissions from cars and trucks and commercial and residential water and space heaters.

* meet the state's energy needs without building new coal or nuclear power plants,

* clean up or phase out the its existing coal and nuclear fleet, e.g., the Oyster Creek, the nation's oldest nuclear power plant, should retire on schedule in 2009;

* increase energy efficiency standards for appliances, new construction, and major renovations.

"As the mother of 3 asthmatic children in Newark, I know how important air quality is to our future," concluded Kim Gaddy of the North Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance. "If Governor Corzine believes in environmental justice, he will strengthen his energy plan."

The public comment period on the EMP closes July 25th. Corzine will hold 3 public hearings before the plan is finalized: in Newark on July 10th at 9:30am, in Trenton on July 15th at 9:30am, and at Rowan Univ. on July 17th at 2pm and into the evening. For details go to www.nj.gov/emp.

-- end -

Received on 2008-07-14 13:49:11

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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