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Clean Energy Cuts in Christie’s Budget

Date : Tue, 21 Feb 2012 17:27:20 -0500

/For Immediate Release/
February 21, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

*Clean Energy Cuts in Christie’s Budget *

** The Governor is taking $210 million out of the Clean Energy Fund in the new budget.This money is supposed to be dedicated to energy efficiency, weatherization, and renewable energy.This is the money that gives you a rebate when you buy a new energy efficient appliance or furnace and the Governor is taking this money to give a tax cut to millionaires.The fund gets between $240-260 million a year and the Governor is taking almost all of it. This fund comes from a small fee on our energy bill that is supposed to be dedicated to these clean energy programs

“The Governor is giving tax cuts to millionaires with the money that should be going to rebates for when you buy a new appliance.This not only hurts the environment but the consumers.It will mean higher heating bills and more pollution,” *said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club*. This is part of the Governor’s continued assault on the Clean Energy Fund.Earlier this month $55 million was sent to the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to make up for the loss of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) money for combined heat and power.$52 million was already diverted in the FY2012- that is $107 million taken this year. Two years ago $400 million in clean energy monies was diverted from the Clean Energy Fund, the Retail Margin Fund, RGGI and other sources.The administration tried to gut the Societal Benefits Charge (SBC) through the Energy Master Plan but there was a large public outcry and now they are doing it through the budget.

“The Governor is trying to balance his budget on the back of the environment by raiding the Clean Energy Fund.This means not only more pollution, but a loss of jobs in New Jersey.This will cost our state up to 3,000 jobs from energy efficiency programs to installing solar panels,” *said Jeff Tittel*. The $500,000 going to the Global Warming Response Act fund is the last of the RGGI money.Last year the Governor announced New Jersey will no longer be participating in the RGGI auctions so no new revenue will be coming in, costing us $65 million and about 1800 jobs.Now he is going after the rest of the clean energy monies.

“This is part of the Governor siding with the coal industry and tea party over jobs for the people of New Jersey.He pulled out of RGGI, would not sign on to the lawsuit supporting the EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule, and continues to take clean energy funds,”*said Jeff Tittel*. The cuts can be found under the Budget In Brief, page 126 Inter-fund Transfers, line item Clean Energy Fund.

Kate Millsaps
Program Assistant
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
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