Losing out on economic jolt from clean power Poll Results
as a sciEntist and father, i strongly believe proven way to produce wins for utility custom-
Corner Office Which is the most likely resolution to the
the main reason we need to change energy is ers, the economy and the environment. unfor- state’s unemployment insurance crisis?
climate change. tunately, businesses and homeowners aren’t Have a hard-hitting stance on a New Jersey
But even if you believe the future of the making these investments on anything like the business issue? If you are a business or
planet isn’t really at risk, you cannot overlook scale needed. policy leader with a strong opinion, we
the clean-air bene- utilities can change this picture with invest- want to hear from you. Please send op-ed 33.1%
fits of green energy, ments that bring the benefits of energy effi- proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org.
or the importance ciency to all segments of society, including low-
of conservation. income families, nonprofit institutions such as the 20th century. an energy transformation is
green ener- cash-strapped hospitals, small businesses and under way, but so far it is occurring mostly in 16.6%
gy provides two municipal facilities. doing so can help lower fits and starts in our country, and mostly on the
additional ben- customer bills and carbon emissions. state level. as things stand, uncertainty about
efits that none of However, if society is to capture these ben- federal policy is paralyzing the transition to a The state will scale back its benefits.
us can afford to efits, utilities should be allowed to invest in green economy. The federal government will bail out the fund.
ignore. the first is energy efficiency, as much as they have tradi- our nation needs a clearly defined, mod- No action will be taken, leaving employers
improved national Ralph Izzo tionally done in pipes-and-wires infrastructure. ernized energy strategy that provides busi- to pick up the tab.
energy security. We Renewables — such as solar, wind, bio- ness certainty. With business certainty, a much
have been talking about energy independence mass or geothermal energy resources — are a greater level of investment dollars will flow.
for more than a generation. an important part
of the solution is to produce more domestic
second important area where utility involve-
ment can make a big difference, stepping in
a couple of steps are critical to open the
Trusting Christie to cut
clean energy, including near our population
centers in states like new Jersey.
where the market isn’t.
since renewable energy is more expensive Energy-efficiency investments unemployment benefits
second, green energy is a growth engine at this point, public intervention is needed in the are a proven way to produce Our readers tend to be pessimistic when
we need to harness in order to stay globally form of subsidies or a renewable-energy stan- it comes to the weekly poll, so it comes as
wins for utility customers, the
competitive. While we wait, we are squandering dard, mandating that a certain portion of electric- something of a surprise to see only about a
economic opportunity — and the supply chain ity supply should come from renewables. economy and the environment. third of about 350 responders believe they’ll
is developing in china, Japan, france, germany the subsidy can be delivered more effi- be socked with higher taxes to compensate
and other countries. increasingly, we have had ciently by a utility, which is in a position to for a serious shortfall in the unemploy-
to look overseas for products like solar panels or charge less for taking on regulatory risk. Here floodgates for clean-energy investment and ment Insurance trust Fund. a slight majority
wind turbines. We are losing momentum, falling again, utility involvement is predicated on reg- innovation. first, we need to put a price on found it most likely that the governor’s plan
behind, and missing a golden opportunity to ulatory mechanisms that allow utilities to earn carbon across this land. legislation that limits to scale back those benefits will be the order
create thousands of good jobs. a return on these investments and provide for carbon would allow the market to move for- of the day.
What to do? Energy utilities have long played prompt cost recovery. ward with solutions. Jim Garibaldi, of The Garibaldi Group,
a strong role in our nation’s development and Where this has happened, as in new Jer- second, we need to promote renewables said he trusts in Chris Christie’s plan. “Consis-
economic health. they can do so again, helping sey, it involves an expansion of the utility’s through a national renewable-energy standard tent with his fiscal actions thus far, the gover-
america get through a challenging time to a bet- traditional role. But this new role is critical to rather than the current state-by-state patchwork. nor will scale back the benefits,” he wrote.
ter future. this opportunity exists because utili- meet the challenges of our time — and soci- our nation has a tremendous stake in reader Stu Lipkin agreed, citing Chris-
ties are uniquely equipped to put their resources ety’s future needs for safe, reliable, affordable building the world’s leading green economy. it’s tie’s “pro-business attitude.” But “it seems
to work in areas where the market isn’t. and green energy. time to get on the path to a sustainable-energy doubtful that the federal government is will-
this is the case with two key parts of the this is the 21st century corollary — an future. indeed, we have no time to lose. u ing to increase the deficit to continue bailing
energy future — efficiency improvements and update, if you will — of the utility’s role in pro- ----------------------------------------