New Jersey Diverts Clean Energy Funds
Gov. Christie notified the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU), which oversees the program, that he is diverting $158 million in clean energy funds to help offset a $2.2-billion state budget deficit.
Environmentalists have expressed concern that dozens of clean energy programs may be scaled down, including a generous solar energy rebate program that has made New Jersey a leader in renewable energy. Another program facing the ax provides New Jersey residents with a $50 rebate for recycling their old refrigerators (the program includes free pickup).
â€śIf we take this money (out of the budget), weâ€™re basically stopping clean energy projects for the next two years,â€ť Matt Elliott of Environment New Jersey told the Record newspaper.
Established in 2003, the stateâ€™s Office of Clean Energy funds a diverse slate of renewable energy initiatives, including multimillion-dollar rebates to support offshore wind power production.Â New Jersey has established a goal of generating 30 percent of its electricity from solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources by 2020.