Governor Phil Murphy stunned some allies (and critics) when he announced on January 20th his intention to scrap and retool his ‘Energy Master Plan’ (EMP), the central policy goal of the Murphy Administration.
We can guess at some of the reasons for Murphy’s tactical retreat (wind industry woes, pressure from labor, the gas stove controversy, etc.), but at the end of the day, the price tag may’ve simply been too great for legislative Democrats to swallow. Murphy may dream of leaving for a future presidential campaign but they’re stuck here; do they really want to own the biggest single tax hike in state history? Especially in an era when energy prices are already out-of-control.
Exactly ‘how big’ has been an open question for years now since the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) never released a reliable cost estimate.
Our friends at Affordable Energy for New Jersey (AENJ), a coalition demanding transparency in state energy policy, has been all over the BPU’s failure to shoot straight with stakeholders and taxpayers. Multiple estimates – including one from AENJ – pegged the EMP’s final cost in the hundreds of billions of dollars range.
On Tuesday (about a week-and-a-half after Murphy walked back his original EMP), AENJ is out with a new updated estimate of that now-abandoned boondoggle purportedly aimed at making the Garden State carbon neutral by 2050.
The latest estimate? $1.4 Trillion!
“The simple fact is that, if the NJBPU didn’t go back to the drawing board, every single resident would be saddled with an average of over $5,000 more every single year to meet the EMP’s mandates,” said Ron Morano, the AENJ’s executive director. “It is time for the state to develop a plan that is reliable, feasible, transparent, and cost effective. The goals of the plan must be realistic, achievable, and not a burden on taxpayers.”
Dr. Jonathan Lesser of the Manhattan Institute (a regular guest on ‘The Matt Rooney Show’ on 1210 WPHT) worked with AENJ on the original estimate of at least $750 billion. The latest estimate works out to $140,000 per New Jersey resident over the next 27 years.
“Meeting the EMP’s goals of electrifying virtually all energy use and supplying that electricity with zero-emissions electricity will require almost incomprehensible amounts of offshore wind and solar power, along with technologies that don’t even exist today,” explained Dr. Lesser. “The EMP is a bureaucrat’s dream, an all-encompassing plan to control virtually every aspect of New Jerseyan’s lives.”
Click here to view the new report.
You can also check out AENJ’s math for yourself here.