I was pleased to see your even-handed coverage of the controversy at the May 2 Westfield Town Council meeting, but I was sorry that it overshadowed one matter of substance that was brought up at the meeting.
I opened the public discussion at the meeting with a request that the Westfield Town Council pass a resolution supporting Assembly Bill 2203, which mandates New Jersey to achieve 80 percent renewable generation of energy by 2050. The case for it is that while New Jersey has been especially challenged by environmental problems, we have also been especially proactive. Once, the Meadowlands was a burning toxic waste site. Today, it is the site of beautiful parks and walks, a place for bird-watchers and nature-lovers, in the sight of the Turnpike.
We all suffered from Hurricane Sandy — and even though my neighborhood was power-free for nine days, I hardly suffered at all compared to fellow citizens at the Jersey Shore. The New Jersey Turnpike and the industrial tanks around the New Jersey ports have been a cancer corridor for at least 40 years — a problem mitigated, finally, by lead-free gasoline.
The bill is in line with the New Jersey Global Warming Response Act of 2007, which establishes a greenhouse gas emission limit of 80 percent by 2050. The towns of Princeton, Jersey City, and South Orange have passed resolutions in support of A2203, as has the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Essex County and the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
Converting to 80 percent reneawables by 2050 is also practical, because the cost of renewable energy is now competitive with the cost of energy from fossil fuels, and the renewable energy sector is growing much faster than any other sector of the energy economy. New Jersey’s energy market is deregulated, a family can easily choose a green energy supplier and call their local utility to get their service from that supplier. There are a number of Green Energy providers in New Jersey.