New Jersey’s Transition to Clean Energy Must Be Equitable

Testimony from NJPP Policy Analyst to the Senate Environment Committee on New Jersey's clean energy future.

Published on Nov 30, 2023 in Climate

My name is Alex Ambrose, and I am a policy analyst with New Jersey Policy Perspective.
Thank you Chairman Smith and members of the committee for your leadership on this issue.

I want to start by emphasizing that clean must mean clean. Ensuring a strong definition will not only make NJ a national leader in the green economy, but it will also safeguard our environmental justice communities. Black and brown families suffer disproportionately due to our state’s over reliance on dirty energy.

There’s a concept called energy privilege. The Univ of California found that communities that oppose clean energy tend to be wealthier and whiter communities, while poor communities and communities of color bear the brunt of fossil fuel-based energy generation.

The transition to clean energy must be equitable—we must ensure that a privileged few do not dictate our energy policy, but that we center the lived experience of our environmental justice community leaders.

We lift up the amendments specified by ICC and NJEJA on the definition of clean electricity production facilities. This is essential to moving our state forward and achieving true equity in our state.

We also want to lift up the importance of having strong workforce development and labor provisions. I understand that there is a balance that needs to be struck in how much energy we purchase from out of state and how much needs to be generated in state. We support a provision that maximizes the in-state benefits of clean energy job creation.

It is essential that the co-benefits of the green economy reach New Jerseyans, especially those in Black and brown communities who have historically been excluded from the benefits of energy generation.

We appreciate your work on this bill and hope you will take these amendments into consideration to ensure the best possible future for all New Jerseyans. Thank you.

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