At this point, the only document more sought than New Jersey’s energy master plan revisions is the post-execution photo of Osama bin Laden.
It’s alarming that a governor who’s campaigned on and bullied from a pro-business platform has not pushed the issue of completing and publicizing updates to the plan, which shapes one of New Jersey’s most powerful (forgive the pun) industries. When one considers the other defining administration position on energy — the $158 million slashed from the clean energy fund last year — it’s not hard to imagine an energy community preparing for a shock. Now, the plan revisions, supposedly complete, will remain in the dark for another two months for further review.
With the plan on the sidelines, New Jersey’s power companies are holding off on making big investments in the state, as reported in our Page One story this week, and the value of solar renewable energy certificates — which are sold by clean-power generators to help recoup the cost of the equipment — is starting to backslide. Continued inaction will undo the many resources New Jersey has put in place to become a leader in alternative power, which should enjoy the spotlight this summer while politicians jiggle their jowls and wring their hands over high gas prices.
The fact that the Garden State is now mentioned in the same breath as California when discussing solar capacity should be a wake-up call to Trenton that this is not an industry that should be ignored, especially since other states would be more than happy to have the jobs and technical know-how these businesses offer. Or will we be leaving pharmaceutical and biotech companies out in the cold next time?