Senator Michael J. Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following comments regarding the continued and pervasive power outages throughout New Jersey:
“For years, the state legislature has passed bills that require money from our utility bills to be re-directed to fund alternative, “green energy” programs. These government mandates have taken away valuable resources that could have been used to maintain and upgrade our electrical power grid.
“As a result, New Jersey now has the dubious honor of having among the highest energy costs in the nation, while our citizens sit in cold, powerless homes.
“New Jersey energy suppliers, forced to comply with expensive environmental mandates, were required to divert their maintenance dollars to satisfy the politically correct whims of well-funded special interests. It is clear that this policy is bad for New Jersey, and is diametrically opposed to the survival needs of our senior citizens and families. The time has come to reprioritize our energy goals so that New Jersey has an electrical power system that is economical and dependable.
“We must get our priorities straight. Given the choice between a warm home and more “green energy” projects involving solar panels and windmills, we must choose to invest our resources in a reliable electrical energy infrastructure that provides dependability and safety for our residents.
“The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities must be held accountable for allowing the creation of regionalized maintenance programs that do not allocate adequate resources to the needs of New Jersey’s customers. The needs of New Jersey’s existing power customers must be the number one priority, now and in the future.
“I will ask the State Board of Public Utilities to hold public hearings on this issue to prevent these power outages from happening in the future.”