TRENTON, N.J. – Phil Murphy’s quest to be America’s greenest governor is about to cost New Jerseyans dearly.
On Monday, the Democrat governor unveiled his ‘energy master plan‘ to end New Jersey’s reliance on natural gas. In order to comply with the new rules? Garden State homeowners may need to shell out between $6,000 and $25,000 (for a 1,500 square foot home) to upgrade their homes and bring them into compliance.
“The governor’s plan would effectively end natural gas service in New Jersey; but, New Jerseyans need natural gas, which is an abundant, affordable, clean and reliable energy source,” said Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26). “Not only are 75 percent of our homes and businesses heated with natural gas, but about 50 percent of our electricity is generated from it. Natural gas also is critical as a raw material for manufacturing.”
“If the governor’s plans are carried out, the cost of energy, and therefore the cost of living, will rise dramatically for all New Jerseyans, including for seniors and the middle class whose backs the governor always promises to have,” added Webber.
More than 75% of New Jersey homes are currently heated by natural gas despite residential natural gas usage accounting for only 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. Utilizing natural gas for household tasks like drying clothes and cooking meals (rather than electricity) saves homeowners $875 annually.
One of Webber’s former colleagues says the Murphy energy plan isn’t just expensive but also a pipe dream that is getting too far ahead of the current state of technology.
“The EMP is relying on technologies that are not yet here. Until battery storage technologies are available for mass electrification, the intermittent nature of wind and solar generation can only be addressed with continued access to inexpensive natural gas. Electric heat pumps are also not cheap to purchase, install, maintain, and operate,” said state Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13).
“The Rutgers Energy Institute is in the process of composing a study that considers the EMP’s economic impact on ratepayers; something the Governor’s plan does not take into account,’ continued O’Scanlon. “Why was this plan rushed before this study was made available? Why was the notice and comment period ended before the BPU finished their cost analysis? Multiple legislators, including myself asked this question. The EMP risks dismantling our natural gas infrastructure without any affordable and practical alternatives.”