TRENTON, NJ — Leading state legislators and environmental advocates gathered today at the New Jersey Statehouse for a press conference to call for historic legislation codifying Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order to put New Jersey on the path to 100% clean electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2035, 15 years earlier than the previous goal.
Speakers included Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak and Senator Linda Greenstein, two environmental champions in the Legislature, as well as New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Ed Potosnak, New Jersey Progressive Equitable Energy Coalition Chairman Marcus Sibley, Natural Resources Defense Council NJ Energy Policy Director Eric Miller, New Jersey Conservation Foundation Co-Executive Director Tom Gilbert, and New Jersey Sierra Club Director Anjuli Ramos.
Advocates called on the Legislature to transition New Jersey to an equitable clean energy future with key provisions, putting the state at the forefront of fighting climate change. These include:
Advocates also pressed for swift action by the Legislature to ensure the goal is codified this year — emphasizing that reaching 100% clean energy is a crucial step towards a more sustainable future for New Jersey.
“Climate change isn’t slowing down, and we can’t either,” said Tom Gilbert, Co-Executive Director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “Legislation is needed to solidify the state’s commitment to reaching 100% clean electricity by 2035. We urge the legislature to move it forward and create a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous state.”
“New Jersey has consistently increased its ambitious clean energy goals in an effort to lead the nation in renewable energy production and use while reducing our state’s reliance on fossil fuels,” said Sen. Linda Greenstein. “As we pursue goals outlined by the Murphy Administration, it’s critical that we ensure the shift to 100% clean energy is approached equitably and addresses the impact on New Jersey’s most overburdened communities.”
“Climate change presents an existential threat to our way of life and is the defining issue of our time. I am honored to work with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters on addressing the importance of investing in alternative clean energy sources,” said New Jersey Assemblyman Rob Karabinchak. “This initiative will help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and create a sustainable economy.”
“A robust clean energy transition is vital for New Jersey’s future. Gov. Murphy’s ambitious clean energy goal to reach 100% clean electricity by 2035 will help protect our communities from the impacts of climate change while creating good-paying jobs that support our middle class,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “We know that New Jerseyans support the clean energy goal, and we need state leaders to do the same. However, while we support steps being taken to pass supporting legislation that codifies these goals, we simply cannot overlook or compromise on the health of our most vulnerable communities by supporting any clean energy standard that includes trash incineration.”
“The fossil fuel formula of providing power at the expense of serious health complications has never added up very well, especially for the most vulnerable communities in our state,” said Marcus Sibley, Chairman, New Jersey Progressive Equitable Energy Coalition. “We join our partners in urging New Jersey to solidify the commitment to clean energy, and remind all involved that if the dirty practice of systemic racism is not addressed with the same urgency and intentionality, there will be no actual change in the climate of the aforementioned communities. Per usual.”
“Businesses in every industry know that achieving 100% clean energy by 2035 will bring massive benefits to New Jersey’s companies, communities, and economy. It is also necessary for the state to meet its ambitious climate goals and lead the transition to a clean energy economy,” said Alli Gold Roberts, Senior Director of State Policy, Ceres. “New Jersey lawmakers can count on the support of the forward-looking companies we work with as they advance a 100% clean energy standard this year.”
“In order to protect our public health and our environment, our energy consumption must come from true clean energy sources. Our reliance on fossil fuels must end at the speed of electrons,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, Director for the NJ Sierra Club. “We urge the legislature to codify 100% clean electricity by 2035 so that New Jersey has a solid plan in law to significantly reduce carbon emissions and curb the impacts of climate change.”
“Now is the time to establish a 100% clean energy standard by 2035 in ways that prioritize improving air quality in E.J. communities and the development of in-state renewable energy,” said Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the NJ Sustainable Business Council. “Doing so will send a clear market signal to those companies leveraging new federal incentives that New Jersey is a desirable and stable market for long-term investment in green innovation and local clean energy jobs.”
“Since 2018, New Jersey has been a leader on clean energy investments, and to stay at the forefront, the legislature must codify Gov. Murphy’s executive order to put the state on the path to 100% clean electricity by 2035. New Jersey must remain laser-focused on cutting carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions to avert further climate catastrophe and reduce reliance on dirty power from out-of-state,” said Eric Miller, NJ Energy Policy Director at Natural Resources Defense Council. “A clean electrical grid is also essential to decarbonize other sectors: electrifying transportation, buildings, and industry as rapidly as possible using clean power to minimize fossil fuel pollution.”