State Director, Environment New Jersey
State Director, Environment New Jersey
Trenton — Tomorrow, New Jersey labor, environmental, health, and advocacy groups will look at Governor Murphy’s sixth budget address and proposal to see if he will deliver on his promise to stop raids on the Clean Energy Fund (CEF).
More than 50 organizations sent the Murphy administration a letter in October, urging an end to CEF raids. The groups also held a press conference in January, coinciding with the release of New Jersey Policy Perspective’s report, Stop the Raids: The Clean Energy Fund Should Fund Clean Energy, which found that lawmakers have raided the fund in every budget since fiscal year 2010, totaling nearly $2 billion.
During his campaign in 2017, Murphy vowed to immediately stop using New Jersey’s CEF – intended to reduce fossil fuel reliance and grow the state’s clean energy economy – to fund unrelated budget gaps.
“Budgets are road maps for an administration’s priorities. Ending raids on the Clean Energy Fund would provide needed funding to achieve Gov. Murphy’s climate goals. The FY24 budget should be the moment for the Governor to fulfill his commitment to end these raids,” said Doug O’Malley, Director, Environment New Jersey. “It’s time to fight climate change without holding one hand behind our backs. Clean Energy Fund raids slow down the transition to a clean renewable energy future and a clean energy economy. This would be the right moment for Gov. Murphy to end the raids on the Clean Energy Fund.”
“New Jersey families have dealt with terrible air quality and volatile energy prices for far too long. We can no longer afford to sacrifice our health and our environment for short-term political gains,” said Alex Ambrose, Policy Analyst, Transportation & Climate Policy, New Jersey Policy Perspective. “It’s time for lawmakers to put their money where their mouth is and fund their clean energy goals. It shouldn’t take a decade of advocacy to get the state to spend clean energy funds on clean energy. It’s not just common sense, it’s the law.”
“The Clean Energy Fund is one of the most important mechanisms for the state to fund clean energy projects. Continuing to raid the Fund is a disservice to our communities that need these investments the most,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, Director, New Jersey Sierra Club. “Governor Murphy must end the raids of the Clean Energy Fund so that the usage of these funds align with the state’s energy and climate goals. Governor, use your administration’s budget to fund clean energy in NJ.”
“We believe the Clean Energy Fund should be used for its intended purpose,” said Andre Thomas, Senior Training Manager, Isles’ Center for Energy and Environmental Training. “Ending the diversions creates jobs and cleaner air, and lowers utility bills. We ask that the money be directed back towards the energy efficiency and weatherization programs that allow us to better serve our already vulnerable communities.”
“Both public and private sectors have pivotal and interdependent roles to play in the transition to a more energy efficient low-carbon economy,” said Richard Lawton, Executive Director, NJ Sustainable Business Council. “Using the Clean Energy Fund solely for its intended purpose is critical to restoring confidence in government and redirecting the types of business investment and innovation that we need to reach our clean energy goals. Continued diversions, however, will further erode trust and hinder progress.”
“Every dollar raided from the Clean Energy Fund is a dollar that can’t be invested into projects to insulate and weatherize the homes of low-income families. This has to stop. The state’s firmer financial footing gives the governor and legislative leaders the ability to finally end one of the last remaining budget gimmicks. It’s time to end the raids to the Clean Energy Fund and establish permanent funding for NJ Transit,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “Transit riders and working families living in uninsulated homes with rattling windows and doors deserve nothing less.”
“The Governor’s Green Economy Roadmap highlighted the Clean Energy Fund as a key part of the funding equation to turn the recommendations into reality,” said Debra Coyle, Executive Director, NJ Work Environment Council. “While we anticipate continued diversions from the CEF in the proposed budget, we implore the Governor and Legislature to ensure the Clean Energy Fund as well as other important priorities like transit are fully funded in the final fiscal year 2024 budget.”
“The Clean Energy Fund is a key funding source for important policies that will help transition our state’s economy to one that is both underpinned by climate change fighting energy and equitable,” said Drew Tompkins, Director, Jersey Renews Coalition. “Continuing the raids of the CEF means we will not be able to make the investments that our state needs to reach our goals and we call on the Legislature and Governor to ensure full funding in the final budget.”