Energy Master Plan – New Legislation

April 5, 2013 | No Comments
Posted by Steven J. Corodemus

More than a decade ago energy deregulation became law in the State of New Jersey.  This was a very complex bill that few legislators truly understood.  The new law was promoted to be the salvation for millions of state energy consumers or “rate payers” in BPU vernacular.  The intent of the legislation was to promote competition, drive down energy costs and create a competitive energy environment for business attraction to New Jersey.

A decade later there would be a good debate whether this change in law was successful.  New Jersey, New England and California have maintained its unenviable distinction of having the most expensive energy prices in the nation – fifty per cent more than the national average.

Assembly Bill A2887 sponsored by Assemblymen Upendra Chivikula has taken direct aim at deregulation’s shortfalls by seeking long term planning for energy capacity and infrastructure by revising New Jersey’s 1977 Energy Master Plan (EMP) law.  The bill also updates the composition of the energy master plan committee to properly identify the current identity of various State departments and adds the Secretary of State (presently our “red tape cutting” Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno).

The energy master plan is a policy pronouncement by the administration of its energy assessments, goals and charts, in broad brush strokes, proposals to achieve those goals.  Various interest groups in the State consider the inclusion of their energy agendas in the EMP serious business.  A2887 seeks to prevent the EMP from becoming a dusty tome.  It does so by requiring tangible metrics to insure goal achievement.

This bill was introduced in 2012 and approved by the New Jersey State General Assembly in March of this year with strong bipartisan support.  The bill must make its way through the New Jersey State Senate before it reaches Governor Christie’s desk for his review and disposition.

This bill and other proposed legislation are being tracked by the Environmental Law Department and Government Affairs Department of this law firm for its clients, the business community and interested parties in the State of New Jersey.

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