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Offshore Wind A Step Closer

Date : Fri, 25 Jan 2013 11:17:48 -0500

For Immediate Release
January 22, 2013 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Offshore Wind A Step Closer

Consultant group Boston Pacific has proposed a funding mechanism plan to the Board of Public Utilities to help make offshore wind a reality in New Jersey.The plan would prevent revenue generated from the production of wind energy from being diverted by the state to the general fund to close budget gaps.Governor Christie has diverted $680 million from clean energy funding over the past three years and this proposal would ensure the money goes to wind projects.The proposal would establish an OREC administrator, hired by the utilities, so that the funding will go directly from the state's four utilities to the offshore wind developers.The Sierra Club hopes this proposal will help move forward formal rulemaking.

"We are glad this proposal is happening as it can help make offshore wind a reality in New Jersey.When the rule proposal is finalized the BPU needs to expedite it and use emergency procedures otherwise it could take years to put in place and we cannot wait," *said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. *"As we rebuild our coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy we need to invest in clean, renewable energy sources that do not contribute to climate change." Governor Christie has been stalling on offshore wind and has done little to nothing in growing the wind industry in New Jersey. The Port of Paulsboro now sits empty when it should be where New Jersey windmills are being put together creating jobs and promoting clean energy.

"It seems that everyone is trying to promote wind off our coast, the Department of Energy, Department of Interior, and the wind companies. Everyone gets the connection expect Governor Christie since he still has yet to put rules in place for offshore wind. Chris Christie has deliberately slowed or stopped off shore wind in the state of the New Jersey. The failure of New Jersey to develop its offshore wind regulations has not only hurt clean energy, but prevented thousands of jobs from coming to New Jersey," said Tittel. Governor Christie continually talks about creating jobs yet has done nothing to help spearhead the wind industry here in New Jersey. This year marked the 2^nd Anniversary since the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act has been signed with zero advancement in wind here in New Jersey to show for it. Unemployment is at a staggering 9.9% instead of investing in the wind industry that would create thousands of clean energy jobs Governor Christie has given out over $2 billion in subsidies to build three polluting natural gas plants. The Port of Paulsboro now sits empty when it should be where New Jersey windmills are being put together creating jobs and promoting clean energy.

"We are glad that offshore wind is moving forward, however unless the Governor moves forward on the BPU rules we will not have windmills off our coast," said Tittel.

Kate Millsaps
Conservation Program Coordinator
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
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