Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

Dear Editor,

A few years back, the state of New Jersey adapted an act designed to reduce greenhouse gas emission by the year 2020. According to the plan, three core recommendations have to be followed in order to achieve this goal.

New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan calls for the reduction of energy use by 20 percent, and using renewable energy sources to meet 22.5 percent of our electrical needs. A cap and trade program was imposed on electricity producers forcing a cap on their carbon dioxide emissions in the hopes of reducing power plant emissions by 10 percent by 2018. And a Low Emission Vehicle Program was enacted to force automakers to reduce GHG emissions in cars they sell in New Jersey by 30 percent by 2016.

All of these measures sound reasonable, and approximately half way until the 2020 when the goal is supposed to be reached, I am interested to know if the state is on pace to meet that goal. I would also like to know if many of these companies, like the power plants or automakers, are obeying these regulations.

The problem is none of this gets any coverage in the media. Aside from a handful of opinion pieces published, the media outlets in New Jersey have not been giving the necessary coverage this plan and its process deserves. Sure, there was a spike in environmental writing after Hurricane Sandy, but we are now solely focused on fixing the damage and have forgotten to ask why it happened. Whether or not readers know about the plan or even care what happens to the environment, they would still probably like to learn if the state is following through on their plan or not.

New Jersey ambitiously passed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act in 2010, and because of a few concerned writers, we know that has gone nowhere. I would be interested in learning if New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan is on the same course.

Nick Bower
Mahwah, NJ

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