Former NJ governor, environmentalists push for movement away from fossil fuels
Environmental groups in New Jersey are starting a new campaign to speed the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
A new poll finds nearly 80 percent of Garden State residents believe the state should invest more in alternative energy strategies, according to the "ReThink Energy NJ" campaign.
Former Gov. Jim Florio has criticized the state's delays in developing offshore windmills.
"Five years ago, legislation was enacted, signed into law, to provide for the funding mechanism for offshore wind. Five years later we sit here, and the regulations to implement the law have not been completed," he said during a news conference. "Five years is outrageous to take to put that into effect."
The environmental groups say proposed gas pipeline projects threaten preserved land and water supplies.
One of the joys of New Jersey life is having an affordable, plentiful source of fresh water, said Assemblyman John McKeon.
"I tell you,as the rest of this country and the world become parched, people will beat a path to New Jersey as an economic juggernaut if we don't do anything to blow it," said McKeon, D-Essex.
Tom Gilbert with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation said any new proposals for fossil fuel infrastructure should receive the highest levels of scrutiny.
And he said the state should require 80 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2050.
"Fossil fuels including natural gas must be an ever decreasing part of our energy mix in order to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, which increased 14 percent last year in New Jersey," Gilbert said.
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