Christie scales back N.J. energy goals

    Gov. Chris Christie is outlining some changes to New Jersey’s energy master plan. They include lowering the goal for the amount of the state’s energy coming from renewable sources by the year 2021.

    “We’ve scaled back to 22.5 percent because 30 percent was never achievable, and the previous energy master plan laid out no realistic path to get there,” Christie said Tuesday.

    New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel said the governor’s plan guts one of the most advanced clean energy programs in the nation.

    “New Jersey is currently meeting all its steps to get to the 30 percent renewable by 2020 and what we see today is really going backwards and taking the side of fossil fuels and nuclear power over clean energy that grows our economy,” he said.

    The governor said construction of a nuclear plant should be considered as an option to help meet the state’s energy needs because the Oyster Creek plant will stop producing power in 2019.

    “I don’t see it by taking Oyster Creek offline as necessitating another nuclear reactor, but I think it is something we should consider as an option, but only through the normal regulatory process and approval process,” he said.

    Christie also said he wants solar panel installation to be focused on large-scale projects at commercial buildings, brownfields, and landfills.

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