Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following statement applauding the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for voting to extend New Jersey’s Zero Emissions Certificate program for an additional three years:
“I applaud the BPU for acting in support of New Jersey’s economy, our environment and the state’s clean energy goals. This program provides a critical lifeline to our state’s nuclear power plants, which are an essential part of our energy mix.
“New Jersey’s nuclear plants generate 40 percent of the state’s electricity – supplying 3.8 million customers with the power they need. During the past 13 months, they have supplied safe, reliable and affordable energy to power our homes, essential businesses, hospitals and vaccination centers during an unprecedented health crisis.
“The Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants pump $1.2 billion every year into the South Jersey economy and support approximately 4,500 jobs in Salem County and throughout New Jersey.
“These plants provide more than 90 percent of our carbon-free electricity at a time when reducing carbon emissions is a national and global priority. This allows us to avoid 14 million metric tons of carbon and other greenhouse gases per year, the equivalent of taking three million gasoline-powered cars off the road.
“New Jersey has established one of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the nation with a target of a 100 percent carbon-free energy supply by 2050 – a goal we cannot hope to achieve without the carbon-free electricity these nuclear plants provide. Without our nuclear plants, New Jersey risks backsliding on the carbon reductions we’ve worked so hard to achieve just as the need to address climate change and the demand for zero-carbon energy resources continues to grow.
“I commend the BPU for today’s decision, which serves the best interests of New Jersey’s customers, economy and communities.”