PolitickerNJ Wire Feed

By Gita Bajaj | December 14th, 2012 - 8:05pm
| More

ASSEMBLY PANEL GREEN LIGHTS CHIVUKULA BILL PACKAGE TO FAST TRACK CLEAN ENERGY, INCLUDE LONG-TERM CAPACITY & INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING IN EMP

Assembly Utilities Chair Says Sandy Underscores Urgency of Slowing Climate Change

(TRENTON) Legislation sponsored by Assembly Utilities Chairman Upendra J. Chivukula to fast track clean energy and to prioritize long-term capacity and infrastructure planning was released by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

The Assembly Telecom and Utilities Committee released a bill (A-2888) to create a separate Office of Clean Energy that would continue to be funded by the Societal Benefits Charge (SBC).

"Hurricane Sandy, a storm that devastated New Jersey, underscores the urgency of slowing climate change, which scientists say is a major factor in the severe weather conditions that we have been experiencing. It is unacceptable that in the past three years, nearly $600 million in clean energy funds have been raided by the Christie Administration. These funds, that are generated from ratepayers, are intended to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change," Chivukula (D-Somerset\Middlesex) said.

"Establishing a separate Office of Clean Energy would create a structure and reporting mechanism and give the state Legislature a better understanding of the use of ratepayer funds," he added.

New Jersey's Clean Energy Program is funded by a monthly fee that utilities levy on commercial, industrial and residential ratepayers known as the Societal Benefits Charge. The Christie Administration has raided hundreds of millions of dollars in these funds to plug budget holes.

"Raiding these funds to balance the budget amounts to imposing a hidden tax on ratepayers," said Chivukula.

A second measure (A-2887) released by the Assembly panel would incorporate long-term capacity and infrastructure planning into the existing Energy Master Plan.

"The lack of long-term capacity and infrastructure planning in deregulated New Jersey, leads to higher rates because of the excessive capacity charges paid to PJM. In-state generation shortfalls or insufficient capacity and the need to purchase a substantial portion of electricity from out-of-state has resulted in much higher capacity prices for New Jersey than for other states under the PJM Interconnection grid," Chivukula said.

New Jersey is part of the Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland (PJM) Interconnection power grid which serves 13 states and the District of Columbia. PJM is currently the world's largest competitive wholesale electricity market. Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia are also part of the grid.

"The measure we sponsored would power up utilities to better meet the electricity needs of our state and bring prices down for ratepayers," Chivukula added. "The bill would also provide for the efficient integration of generation and distribution systems and for more local power generation. It would encourage planning for distributed generation and the creation of micro grids and smart switches to facilitate the quicker restoration of power at a local level in the event of natural disasters," he added.

Under the existing system, while power generation is regulated at a federal level by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), distribution falls under the state's Board of Public Utilities (BPU). Integrated resource planning for capacity and infrastructure often leads to a lack of adequate preparation to prevent power outages for long durations. Chivukula's measure would create better planning of integrated resources between generation and distribution and also for distributed generation in the event of emergencies.

###

CONTACT:

Gita Bajaj
(973) 224-4851 cellular
gbajaj@njleg.org email
bajajgita1@yahoo.com email

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 22, 2014

Newark mayor's race: pro-Jeffries independent expenditure group shows donations of $1.3 million, Wall Street ties in ELEC reportNEWARK - Newark First, the independent expenditure group that supports Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries in the run-up to the May 13 municipal election, has been on the attack lately against Jeffries'...

Op-Ed

How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >

Contributors

(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"You know what? I'm still Vinny Prieto. I'm still the same guy. This is always a great event — to see people, to talk about business, to hear about issues and concerns." - Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32).

- The Star-Ledger

Poll

Are you on this year's Annual Walk to Washington?:

Resources

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources