Governor Phil Murphy and his appointees to the Board of Public Utilities have yet to disclose the price tag on his far-reaching energy master plan announced nearly two years ago, and Senator Anthony M. Bucco today chided the front office for its lack of transparency with New Jersey families. At an NJBIA meeting in February 2020, administration officials shared the BPU was conducting a cost study that would likely be released the following month. Over a year and a half later, no cost analysis has been shared with the public, yet the Administration continues to move forward on its implementation.
“J.P. Morgan is often quoted as saying ‘if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it,’ and that is certainly the case with this sweeping energy plan that could upend the economy and devastate state residents,” said Bucco (R-25). “I’m calling on the legislature to do its job, begin oversight of the Administration’s plan and request the BPU finally disclose all outside experts cost analyses immediately. The election showed this Administration must stop placating the far-left wing of his party and instead focus on affordability for residents.”
“This plan is nothing more than a huge energy tax that will impoverish low- and middle-class families,” said Bucco. “Some estimates have found that the ‘plan’ will cost residents more than $210,000 for a family of four, that’s outrageous. Energy bills are already high – with 837,885 residents who were behind on their utility bills and owing over $600 million. Now is not the time to be increasing costs on residents.”
Bucco authored an op-ed published by NorthJersey.com only days after the master plan was released, blasting the administration for its failure “to include a cost analysis of its ‘Green New Deal’-inspired plan,” adding that “Board of Public Utilities President Joe Fiordaliso may have already let the cat out of the bag when he stated back in April (2019) that it’s ‘expensive, and we know it is expensive.’”
Upon her retirement, former NJ Rate Counsel Stefanie Brand added in August, “It is important for policymakers to not always take the easy route. The easy ones come with high price tags.” She added about Murphy’s Energy Plan, “I have not yet seen a study that quantifies that cost.”
Almost two years later, Murphy and his team remain close-mouthed about the fiscal impact on families and the region’s economy.
Among the plan’s goals is to eliminate natural gas use in New Jersey and require mass electric upgrades in homes, even though natural gas heats roughly 80% of homes and creates half of our electricity.