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NJ Makes Move to Block Clean Energy Plan

A month after Chris Christie announced he opposes President Obama’s new Clean Energy Plan his top environmental regulator has officially given the EPA New Jersey’s stance on this plan.

Bob Martin wrote a letter to EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy in which he says the regulation “punishes states, including New Jersey, that have already achieved significant reductions in carbon emissions, by setting even stricter goals for them, even though many other states have made much less progress in reducing emissions and are given less stringent emission targets than New Jersey,”

New Jersey backs this up, saying it has already reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 33 percent between 2001 and 2012.  Its reliance on coal-produced energy has dipped from 20 percent in the 1990s to less than 5 percent now, according to the EPA.  About half of the state’s energy is produced by nuclear power.  It also ranks third, behind Arizona and California in total installed solar capacity.

In a statement last week, Christie said, “This is a fundamentally flawed plan that threatens the progress we’ve already made in developing clean and renewable energy in New Jersey without the heavy-handed overreach of Washington.”

Environmentalists believe that New Jersey could still benefit from the new Clean Energy Plan, especially if neighboring states improve their air quality.  Sierra Club Executive Director Jeff Tittle said, “If New Jersey won’t comply, then how do we get Pennsylvania to comply?”