New Jersey state Senator Anthony Bucco said Governor Phil Murphy should rethink his plan to prohibit newly constructed homes and businesses from having access to affordable and reliable natural gas.
“Governor Murphy’s new Energy Master Plan acknowledges that 75% of existing residences in the state are heated with natural gas,” said Bucco (R-25). “That so many New Jersey families currently depend on natural gas is not a coincidence. It’s affordable, reliable for heating and cooking, and dependable for emergency standby power generation when electric lines are knocked out during storms like Sandy.”
Bucco said maintaining natural gas systems provides a critical level of redundancy in emergency situations when electric-grid power is unavailable.
“People deserve to make choices about what level of risk they are willing to take with their own homes,” said Bucco. “While some people may place greater value on the environmental benefits of using fully electric appliances, others have legitimate concerns about losing the ability that is provided by natural gas to heat their homes, cook food, or run a standby generator to power a sump pump or refrigerator when the power goes out. A one-size-fits-all approach shouldn’t be forced on everyone.”
Bucco also noted that removing natural gas connections as an option for new construction could lead to dramatically higher energy prices for consumers.
“Some experts have said that the governor’s plan to force consumers to use electric appliances could double or triple their energy bills,” added Bucco. “When so many middle-class families and small businesses are already struggling to survive, Governor Murphy shouldn’t be working to drive their utility bills through the roof. It’s a hidden energy tax that New Jersey just can’t afford.”