As Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath prompt more New Jerseyans to call for action to tackle global warming and the rise in extreme weather, Environment New Jersey released a new report that shows that New Jersey’s current power generation from wind energy displaces as much global warming pollution as taking 2000 cars off the road per year. A 2010 law passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Christie will bring far more wind power to New Jersey over the next decade, significantly reducing global warming pollution and cutting the state’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Environment New Jersey was joined by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senator Linda Greenstein, Vice Chair of the Senate Environment Committee, in releasing the report Wind Power for a Cleaner America: Reducing Global Warming Pollution, Cutting Air Pollution, and Saving Water. The report touts wind energy’s environmental benefits to date, as well as future benefits if wind power continues to grow. The speakers urged Congress to extend critical federal incentives for wind power—the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and the offshore wind investment tax credit (ITC)—before they expire at the end of the year.
As America struggles to revitalize our economy, create jobs, secure an energy independent future, and protect our communities and wildlife from the dangers of climate change, one energy source offers a golden opportunity to power our homes and businesses without creating more pollution – Atlantic offshore wind.
America has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, particularly along the Atlantic coast where over 1,300 gigawatts (GW) of energy generation potential has been identified. Harnessing just a fraction of our offshore wind resource - 52 GW - could power about 14 million U.S. homes with local, pollution-free energy while creating over $200 billion in new economic activity along the coast.
In this report, we document each state's offshore wind potential from Maine to Florida, and recommend key state and federal policies to move offshore wind development forward.
Just days a series of severe storms ripped through Central Jersey, leading to severe rains and flooding that devastated the town of Freehold, a new Environment New Jersey report confirms that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 33 percent more frequently in New Jersey since 1948. The Central Jersey storm followed a June 29th storm that brought high winds and rain to Southern Jersey, now considered one of the most destructive and severe thunderstorms in the region’s history. 206,000 people in Atlantic, Cumberland, and Salem counties lost power following the June 29th storm.
America’s reliance on gasoline-powered vehicles has long contributed to air pollution, including global warming emissions, and our nation’s dependence
on oil. In the past decade, however, the automobile market has begun to change, integrating new technologies that are dramatically less dependent on gasoline.
Electric vehicles have arrived and will provide extensive environmental benefits. Increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road will yield even greater cuts in pollution and oil use.
Over the last decade, northeastern states have built a track record of successful action to reduce global warming pollution. By working together
across state lines and partisan divides—and developing innovative new policies to hasten the transition to a clean energy economy—the Northeast has succeeded in
cutting emissions while safeguarding the region’s economic health.
Between 2000 and 2009, the 10 northeastern states1 that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cut per capita carbon dioxide
emissions 20 percent faster than the rest of the nation—even as the region’s gross product per capita grew 87 percent
faster than the rest of the United States.
The region is on pace to achieve the ambitious emission reduction goals set over the last decade. Much more remains to be
done to protect the region from the impacts of global warming, but the experience of the past decade provides hope that smart
policies and an ethic of cooperation can result in a rapid reduction in global warming pollution even as the region’s economy
continues to grow.
Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.