New Jersey Seeks Public Input on Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases
TRENTON, New Jersey, December 18, 2008 (ENS) – New Jersey environmental officials have released a proposal to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Mauriello has invited the public to comment on the recommendations outlined in a draft report published on the state’s Global Warming website.
“While this plan is still in draft form, it lays out an ambitious vision for New Jersey and what we must do to reduce greenhouse gases for the next 40 years,” said Governor Jon Corzine.
“This draft report outlines a New Jersey where employees commute without the frustration of traffic and the air pollution it causes, where energy is clean, and where waste is a thing of the past,” the governor said. “Such ambitions are the future of our environment and our economy.”
New Jersey’s B.L. England power plant operated
by Rockland Capital Energy Investments burns
coal and oil. (Photo by Curt Bergesen)
The state will host six meetings in January to solicit input on the plan. The draft report is a key requirement of the Global Warming Response Act, signed by Governor Corzine on July 6, 2007, that calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, followed by a further reduction of emissions to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050.
The draft report outlines the necessary implementation steps that New Jersey must take over the next 18 months in order to meet the statewide 2020 limit, and put the state on the right path for achieving the statewide 2050 limit.
The plan reinforces three of the state’s core environmental programs that are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from New Jersey’s largest contributors – the transportation and energy sectors.
The Energy Master Plan establishes the framework for reducing New Jersey’s energy demands through incentives that encourage investment in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
The state’s Low Emission Vehicle, which becomes effective on January 1, 2009, will achieve twice the reduction in greenhouse gases as the Federal clean car standards.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a 10-state northeastern and mid-Atlantic initiative, is reducing carbon output from power plants in the region through a cap-and-trade market-based approach. New Jersey is participating in RGGI’s second carbon auction that took place on Wednesday.
The plan also provides supporting recommendations that include legislative and regulatory actions, as well as additional market-based initiatives that encourage investment in innovative environmentally-friendly technologies.
The draft report and a list of dates and times for the public meetings are listed on the state’s global warming website at: www.nj.gov/globalwarming.