Energy reality check: N.J. greenhouse emissions down thanks to natural gas (Sponsored Content: ELEC 825)

So long, coal

Over the last several years, coal-fired plants in New Jersey started shutting down. PSEG shut down the Mercer and Hudson coal-fired plants a couple of years ago and the last coal plant in the state (in Upper Township in South Jersey) was shut down earlier this year.

This is a big win for the environment and a big step towards a greener, sustainable future.

Transitioning from coal means that sulfur dioxide, mercury and other air toxins formed when burning this fuel will no longer be injected into the atmosphere that is shared by millions of people in New Jersey. … It is heartening to know that a major New Jersey power-producing company is transitioning to cleaner fuels and at the same time reducing air pollution for the region. Monica Mazurek, associate professor, civil and environmental engineering, Rutgers University

A bridge to a renewable future

How did this happen? It was cleaner and affordable natural gas. Over the last 15-plus years, natural gas has slowly and steadily replaced coal while solar and wind have gotten off the ground. At this point, 90% of New Jersey’s energy comes from nuclear and natural gas. And, thanks to the increased usage of clean natural gas, New Jersey reduced its greenhouse emissions by nearly 26% between 2005 and 2015 and achieved the 2020 Global Warming Response Act goals years ahead of schedule.

As a state, New Jersey is a national leader in reducing carbon emissions. And the United States is a global leader in reducing carbon emissions. At the end of the day, natural gas has been critical in helping the state and country immediately reduce carbon emissions. How we get to a renewable future is key.

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