PolitickerNJ Wire Feed
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.
(973) 224-4851 cellular
Tony Auth, the Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial cartoonist for more than 40 years and winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1976, died of brain cancer Sunday. He was 72.Read More >
Bergen County Executive's Race: Tedesco goes up on cable TV with introductory ad James Tedesco, Democratic candidate for Bergen County Executive, goes up on cable television Tuesday for the first time this season. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/81501/bergen-county-executives-race-tedesco-goes-cable-tv-introductory-ad Stockton Poll: Belgard and MacArthur tied in CD3 In New Jersey’s key...
By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor. Not only is there no current legal... Read More >
"[Lyndon] Johnson understood that so far as a man was a political animal (and therefore not searching for some private truth which might be independent of politics) he was then, if deprived of his properties, close to being a dead man." - Norman Mailer- Miami and the Siege of Chicago
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.