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PSE&G Playing Politics with Energy Strong Arm
Date : Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:26:57 -0400
For Immediate Release
October 22, 2013
Contact: Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club, 609-558-9100
PSE&G Playing Politics with Energy Strong Arm
This PSE&G press conference is them playing politics instead of actually
explaining Energy Strong to the public. The more they play politics the
more you realize how bad this project actually is. The company is
requesting almost $4 billion for grid hardening projects. This is the
biggest rate increase in history. This will have long term consequences
for the rate payers and energy policy in New Jersey. Sierra Club is
calling on the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to require more energy
efficiency programs in the wake of extreme weather events like Hurricane
Sandy and to protect against these storm events in the future.
Promoting energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy now will help
us avoid future storm costs and improves resiliency.
"This is energy strong arm. They are just trying to push through this
program without any scrutiny. The congressman speaking at the event
should know that this is not only Bernie Madoff accounting, it is Energy
Wrong. This plan is going to impact their constituents since under
Energy Strong 100% of the rate payers will pay but less than 40% will
see any benefit. The speakers are just being used as pawns by PSE&G to
push through this bad proposal that will not protect us from the next
storm," said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club.
In PSE&G's Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure Investment
report the company states they want to get rid of $600 million for Solar
4 All, $100 million for Solar Loans, and $200 million from Energy
Efficiency for All. In order to pay for Energy Strong they want to cut
renewable energy programs by $900 million but Sierra Club is
participating in the rate case to demand more energy efficiency and
renewable programs. Cutting these programs to pay for Energy Strong is
an accounting gimmick and shows they are not investing enough in these
"The reason they are playing politics is that they cannot defend rate
hikes or this plan. It will only benefit PSE&G's bottom line not the
vast majority of the people they serve. They are trying to push this
through using politics since they cannot defend the indefensible," said
PSE&G also wants to move the Gas Capital Improvement Plan Phase 3
investments, $1.4 billion, into the Energy Strong program. This should
not be allowed because replacing old gas lines is a capital improvement
and has nothing to do with hardening infrastructure.
"This is not Energy Strong, this is Energy Con. At a time when we should
be investing in renewables and energy efficiency to make state more
resilient they are actually cutting these programs. This plan would take
ratepayer money, not fix the grid, but to waste it on projects that will
not work since the proposal ignores the future impacts of climate
change," said Jeff Tittel.
HUD released their Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Strategy
Document which outlines criteria for federal funding. On energy HUD is
calling for not just hardening the grid, but making it more resilient by
including distributive generation, microgrid, combined heat and power,
smart grid, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Utilities in New
Jersey, including PSE&G, should be meeting these criteria and actively
going after federal funding for these upgrades. PSE&G has not applied
for the available HUD Community Development Block Grant funding to
harden and elevate infrastructure. They have also not applied for
available FEMA funding to elevate vulnerable infrastructure. In New
York utilities are requesting that funding.
"The congressman should know that unless changes are made, this proposal
will waste a lot of rate payer money that will be destroyed in the next
storm. We the rate payers are paying for the utilities' past mistakes.
Had they invested more in renewable energy, efficiency, and smart grid
we would not have had the outages and problems we had. This is our
chance to fix the problems and mistakes of the past to grow our economy
and give us a brighter clean energy future in New Jersey," said Jeff
Tittel. "It is not enough to be energy strong we have to be smarter and
better. This is just energy pay to play."
-- Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator New Jersey Sierra Club 145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618 609-656-7612 _________________________________________________________ NJ-Sierra-Chapter-Ex-Committee List Info & Archives: http://lists.sierraclub.org/archives/NJ-EXCOM.html - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Received on 2013-10-22 09:26:57
New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
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