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Ray Cantor, NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association testified Tuesday in opposition to a bill that would codify certain energy goals related to the 2019 Energy Master Plan (EMP).

NJBIA Vice President for Government Affairs Ray Cantor told the Senate Environment & Energy Committee that many of those EMP objectives do not account for costs to the state, reliability or feasibility.

“While we are generally supportive or reasonable measures to advance clean energy goals, we oppose the blanket incorporation of various EMP goals as State goals codified by legislation,” Cantor said. “The EMP was not intended for this purpose and has other significant flaws.

“We should not be moving forward with major energy policies, as law, until we understand what the cost to the public will be and if our grid will remain reliable.”

The goals and strategies in the EMP were based on modeling performed by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

The model, Cantor explains, was very limited in is scope and did not consider New Jersey-specific parameters relating to the state’s economy and particular energy usage.

Cantor added the RMI modeling also did not take reliability into account.

“This is an unacceptable position as energy reliability needs to be a centerpiece of any energy strategy,” Cantor said. “RMI, itself, called the EMP ‘aspirational’ and that it should not be the basis for regulations. It also recommended reviews every three years for progress and adjustments.

“Moreover, the state Board of Public Utilities has not yet developed its ratepayer impacts reports. When you consider that the significant costs contained in the EMP strategies have yet to be fully developed, it’s irresponsible to codify these objectives as law.”

The bill,  S-3667 (Smith, D-17; Bateman, R-16), was released by the committee and now advances to the full Senate.

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