Legislators question Murphy’s $35M pledge to bail out companies impacted by SVB, Signature Bank

Governor Murphy raised some eyebrows this week by pledging $35 million for companies impacted by the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

Assemblywoman Victoria Flynn and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-13) promptly responded by demanding that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) identify any and all companies that would benefit from the state’s (which really means the taxpayers’) emergency assistance. 

“There is something amiss here – why is New Jersey announcing an emergency allocation of funds over the weekend without any details as to which companies require this funding except for vague references to companies that are “innovative” or “emerging technology”? Given Silicon Valley Bank’s portfolio and the fact the green energy start-ups are heavily invested in by the institution, some of the constituents here in the shore communities are worried that the solar and wind companies stand to benefit from this bailout,” said Flynn. “I think it is important for the NJEDA to be clear as to which companies are about to receive $35 million in taxpayer dollars rather than making ambiguous references to companies that contribute to our “innovative ecosystem” and “the dynamism of our cities.” New Jerseyans are just not buying wh your State taxdollars should be used to address a problem that is likely to be addressed on the federal level.”

It’s been widely-reported that wind and solar companies are set to bear the immediate brunt of the most serious banking crisis since 2008, and the wind industry specifically was already on the ropes. According to The New York Times, SVB alone was doing business with approximately 1,500 “climate start-ups.” Meanwhile, the Murphy Administration recently revised its green energy goals to make the state 100% reliant on “clean energy” in the next decade, a plan (in the loosest sense of the word) which relies heavily on ambitious offshore wind projects which haven’t resulted in a single turbine being constructed to date.

Political considerations could overshadow economics depending upon which companies receive assistance; Murphy’s national ambitions are tied to his brand as a “green governor.”

The only additional details provided as of Wednesday morning by the Murphy Administration relate the identities of the NJEDA programs from which emergency funds will be drawn. The LD13 legislators want Murphy to name names.

“Before a single dollar is spent by the NJEDA and the Governor, we want to know who is going to receive these grants and loans. New Jersey residents are facing some of the most overbearing financial weights in 40 plus years. Between skyrocketing inflation, rising costs at the grocery store and just overall higher costs of living day-to-day, taxpayers must not be put in a situation where they must now protect solar and wind companies because the Governor needs them to survive politically,” added Scharfenberger. “We need guarantees from Trenton that Governor Murphy does not intend to bailout any company involved just to keep his ‘green dream’ from turning into the nightmare that we have been warning against for years now.”

Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is SaveJersey.com's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.