From the Directors report at the January Executive Committee Meeting
- A ballot initiative on climate. This started out as a back-into-RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) proposal, but now chances are good to make the ballot issue more comprehensive, including dedicating the societal benefits utility charge to conservation and clean energy programs to prevent the raiding of these funds to balance the general budget (which both parties have gone along with in the past). The bill would pass if all of the Democrats vote to put the question on the ballot.
- Fracking. Bills to ban fracking and to ban importing fracking waste may be reintroduced. If those bills are first introduced in the Senate, it could be easier to override an expected veto since an override vote must start in the originating chamber, and we have more votes in the Senate. It would be easier for the Assembly to follow the Senate's lead than to go first.
- Clean energy. We are looking to support legislation to establish an energy efficiency resource standard in NJ, with a target of reducing consumer energy usage by 20%. The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has had the authority to require such a standard for years, but has failed to do so in both Democratic and Republican administrations.
- Open space funding. We are working on developing a sustainable funding package which can actually pass the legislature and not cut other vital state programs. (The dedicated-sales-tax proposal being pushed by other groups achieves neither of these objectives. Their aggressive pushing of the sales tax plan alienates our legislative supporters and works against the likelihood of passing a compromise plan.) Elements of this package may include a small water fee (which may be supported by labor unions if a portion of the fee is dedicated to programs which pay to fix leaky pipes), a bottle bill, a plastic bag bill, and a carbon fee, the proceeds of which would go (in whole or part) to open space acquisition and preservation. Putting together a package could take several years. The sales tax advocates work against progress toward creating a successful package.
- Sandy-related bills. Bills that have stalled in the past session have a better chance of progressing this year, including bills to establish a Coastal Commission, close the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) loophole, use green standards for rebuilding, keep the administration more accountable on how recovery money is spent, and include climate change mitigation measures in rebuilding plans.
See The April-June 2013 New Jersey Sierran for details.
- Recovery from Hurricane Sandy
- Offshore Wind Energy
- Energy Efficiency
- Linking Climate Change to Hurricane Sandy
- Cooling Towers for the Mercer Generating Station
- Susquehanna-Roseland HigherVoltage Power Line across the Highlands
- Solar Photovoltaic Electricity
- Fracking - Instate Waste Ban
- Fracking - Delaware Regional Basin Commission
- Secure Funding of Open Space Acquisitions
- Ban or Fee for Plastic and Paper Bags
- Encouraging Electric vehicles and their Infrastructure
- Water Quality Issues
- Regional Planning: State Strategic Plan, Highlands, and Pinelands
New Jersey Chapter - Issues
National Sierra Club Programs
Page Last Modified 4/2/2013
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