In an effort to raise awareness of the health, economic and climate benefits of an equitable clean energy future for the state, a number of top environmental agencies and advocates announced Tuesday they are launching the Clean Energy Action Now campaign.
The campaign, which will be known as CLEAN, aims to support the urgent adoption of policies that encourage and accelerate clean energy solutions, such as establishing a state target in law of 100% clean electricity by 2035. It also will work toward finding an equitable, affordable pathway to upgrade New Jersey’s homes and buildings to clean energy and highly efficient appliances such as heat pumps.
Homes and buildings make up 26% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, the group said.
CLEAN also will work to ensure that policy-makers and the public have fact-based information about the health, economic and environmental benefits of clean energy and the transition away from fossil fuels and also correct misinformation being disseminated by vested interests that profit from continuing our reliance on polluting fossil fuels.
The following organizations are founding members of CLEAN:
- Acadia Center;
- Environmental Defense Fund;
- Natural Resources Defense Council;
- New Jersey Conservation Foundation;
- New Jersey League of Conservation Voters;
- ReThink Energy NJ;
- Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter;
- New Jersey Progressive Equitable Energy Coalition;
- MnM Consulting.
Barb Blumenthal, research director at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, said it’s time for straight talk on these issues.
“Let’s stop with the lies and scare tactics and work towards a clean energy future, together,” she said. “Delaying the adoption of New Jersey’s clean energy goals is costing consumers money and denying New Jerseyans the benefits of more comfortable, healthier, all-electric homes.”
CLEAN believes climate change isn’t slowing down — and neither should the state in addressing the issues.
This summer alone, New Jerseyans have struggled with dangerous air quality stemming from Canadian wildfires. Much of the country has had numerous days and weeks of extreme heat, too.
Clean Energy Action Now is a campaign dedicated to increasing awareness of the health, economic and climate benefits of an equitable clean energy future. We support policies that encourage and accelerate the adoption of solutions such as electric vehicles and all-electric homes powered by 100% clean energy by 2035. Rather than allow the polluting fossil fuel industry to stall New Jersey’s energy future, CLEAN works to move New Jersey forward faster toward a clean energy future that creates jobs and builds healthier communities.
Founding CLEAN members believe that, through advocacy, education and policy, New Jersey must move further faster toward meeting its clean energy goals.
Anjuli Ramos-Busot, New Jersey state director for the Sierra Club, said the issue is basic: protecting the air we breathe.
“At the end of the day, what we’re pushing for is cleaner air,” she said. “My child’s health is jeopardized when he plays outside due to poor air quality, and also indoors because of our exposure to particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and other toxins. We need healthier air both indoors and outdoors.”
Karla Sosa, project manager for New Jersey state affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the time for action is now.
“The facts are undeniable: transitioning from fossil fuels to clean, efficient electric appliances will save New Jersey utility customers money, improve our health and protect us from the worst impacts of climate change,” she said.
A number of other CLEAN members weighed in:
- Nicole Miller, vice chair, New Jersey Progressive Equitable Energy Coalition: “Clean energy opponents, such as the New Jersey Fuel Merchants Association, have one purpose — continuing to profit from the sale of polluting fossil fuels — and they’ll say anything to dissuade utility customers from switching to electric appliances that are affordable, better for their health and reduce harmful emissions.”
- Tom Gilbert, campaign director, ReThink Energy New Jersey: “New Jerseyans recognize how climate change is fueling the extreme heat and wildfire smoke that has become all too common this summer. They are demanding action from our state leaders to move forward, faster toward our clean energy goals. Yet, the fossil fuel industry in New Jersey has resorted to delay tactics, misinformation and sensationalism to deny us an affordable, healthier and more resilient clean energy future. We cannot allow it to continue.”
- Eric Miller, director of New Jersey energy policy at Natural Resources Defense Council: “Clean energy and affordability go hand in hand. As New Jerseyans begin to reap millions of dollars in federal rebates and incentives to upgrade their homes and businesses with clean energy, our state leaders must seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to usher in a new era of clean energy that lowers costs for everyday New Jerseyans. The longer we delay, the more it will cost us.”
- Allison McLeod, senior director of public policy, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters: “Low-income New Jerseyans who are struggling with years of rising methane gas rates and disproportionate exposure to pollution from fossil fuels deserve relief. We must act now to accelerate programs and policies that can deliver cleaner air, healthier communities and lower energy bills.”