A new report debunks the myth that natural gas can be a bridge to a clean, affordable energy future and warns policymakers to “avoid picking gas as the winner” in the transition to clean energy.
Oil Change International released its report, Burning the Gas ‘Bridge Fuel’ Myth: Why Gas Is Not Clean, Cheap, or Necessary, Thursday in Trenton jointly with ReThink Energy NJ, a nonprofit organization which promotes clean, efficient, renewable energy and policies.
Tom Gilbert, campaign director of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and ReThink Energy NJ, said the report’s findings are particularly relevant in New Jersey because most emissions from electric generation are from natural gas. Gilbert added that multiple new pipelines to bring more gas into the state have been proposed, despite the fact that New Jersey has more than enough pipeline capacity to meet demand even on the coldest days of the year.
“This report makes it clear that New Jersey can’t afford to lock in emissions by building additional gas infrastructures, such as PennEast and numerous other pipelines and gas-fired power plants proposed throughout the state,” Gilbert said. “Gas needs to be phased out, starting today.”
New Jersey officials have an opportunity to stand up to the bridge fuel myth by developing a new Energy Master Plan that puts New Jersey on a path to phase out natural gas and achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050, the organizations said.
“No matter how many different ways the Trump administration attacks the science of climate change the data is clear: the Earth is warming and we have a responsibility to aggressively and decisively move toward a clean energy future that does not rely on fossil fuels,” New Jersey Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-16, said. “If New Jersey is to meet its obligations, we must ensure that our existing pipelines are not leaky, our nuclear plants are running reliably, and we are reducing our energy consumption while building out our renewable energy capacity. This approach will create high-quality jobs in construction, manufacturing and more while ensuring that we do our part for generations to come.”