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One of the unanswered questions in New Jersey’s second gubernatorial debate, held this week, was the costs that will be applied to residents and businesses to meet the state’s Energy Master Plan goals.

Other unanswered questions revolve around the feasibility of Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of establishing net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

But those hot topics will be discussed at length at NJBIA’s first energy conference, held this coming Friday, Oct. 22, as a host of state and national leaders from the energy, environment, and business sectors come together to understand the nexus between New Jersey’s clean energy goals and cost and reliability considerations.

The event, entitled “Energy & Decarbonization: A Business Perspective,” will begin at 8 a.m. at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township. Registrants will have the option to attend the event live or watch virtually.

NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Ray Cantor said the various discussions will also help shape the business policy’s energy policy agenda as the state Energy Master Plan has a established a goal of being 100% clean energy.

“There is a tremendous push both at the state and national level to achieve a zero net carbon goal by 2050,” Cantor said. “But no one has done any serious analysis on how much it will cost, if it’s achievable, and whether those commitments are worth the tradeoffs.

“This conference, with such an esteemed and respected collection of experts and policymakers, is intended to have those conversations.”

Cantor added: “As we seek deep decarbonization of our energy systems, there will be competition by fuel sources.  What role will renewables like wind and solar play?  Will we maintain and even grow our nuclear fleets and what happens to natural gas?  Will new technologies like hydrogen gain hold of the market?  We have invited leaders of all of those industries to tell us what the future holds and to make their pitch on what they need to get there.”

Participating speakers and panelists, alphabetically listed, include:

  • Ray Cantor, Vice President of Government Affairs, New Jersey Business & Industry Association
  • Judith Curry, President and co-founder of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN)
  • Dawn Fenton, Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, Volvo Group North America
  • Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
  • Kate Gibbs, Deputy Director, Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative, ELEC 825
  • Prasanna V. Joshi, Corporate Strategic Research, ExxonMobil Corporation
  • Shawn M. LaTourette, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
  • Bob Martin, Managing Director, Christie 55 Solutions
  • Elliott Nethercutt, Principal Economist, National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)
  • Kris Ohleth, Executive Director, Special Initiative on Offshore Wind
  • Dan Shreve, Head of Global Energy Storage, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables
  • Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., President & CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association
  • Joe Uglietto, President, Diversified Energy Specialists (DES),
  • James Spano, Managing Partner, Spano Partners Holdings, LLC
  • Rick Thigpen, Senior Vice President – Corporate Citizenship, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and Chairman of the PSEG Foundation
  • Steve Westhoven, President & CEO at New Jersey Resources

To see the full agenda and to register, click here.