Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following statement today emphasizing the role of natural gas in meeting the state’s energy needs and making the transition to clean fuels:
“As we make the transition to clean fuels and renewable sources of energy, it is important that we recognize the role of natural gas in meeting the state’s energy needs. Natural gas is an important component of the electric grid, making vital contributions to the reliability and affordability of energy for residents and businesses in New Jersey.
“Right now, 50 percent of electric generation in New Jersey is powered by natural gas, which has displaced coal and other dirtier and more costly fuels, and 75 percent of our homes are heated by natural gas. On average, households that use natural gas for heating, cooking, and clothes drying save $875 annually.
“The Energy Master Plan, which has the laudable goal of working towards a new era of clean energy, will impose a reduction in the availability of natural gas that is inconsistent with consumer preference, will increase costs and jeopardize the resiliency and reliability of our current energy systems. That is a price we should not be forced to pay.
“The immediate need for clean, cost-efficient power supplies and the long-term objective of an increased use of renewables can be met by including natural gas as part of a diverse mix of energy sources. We can best achieve the goal of providing clean, renewable energy by including natural gas in the process. That will be good for the environment, consumers, the economy and businesses.”