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Nuclear Cynicism

RGGI, renewables, EJ, and now energy efficiency as cover

[Update – 5/24/18. Our prediction was right on the money (pun intended). Today NJ Spotlight reports that Gov. Murphy signed the nuke bailout and sham renewable goals cover bills, with Tom Gilbert of Rethink Energy NJ supporting quote. Disgusting.

More Updates below]

We’ve been warning that the upcoming $300 million per year bailout of PSEG nuclear plants would proceed under the political cover of so called aggressive “renewable energy” goals.

As predicted, that’s exactly what happened, as Sweeney amended his bill in a deal with Gov. Murphy, see: REVISED NUCLEAR SUBSIDY BILL APPEARS BACK ON LEGISLATIVE TRACK

Senate President Sweeney failed to ram a stand alone nuke bailout bill through the lame duck session, but immediately reintroduced and fast tracked it in the new Legislative session.

But now the political cover for the nuke bailout has taken on even more corrupt and cynical dimensions. Follow:

First of all, yesterday I wrote about Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order to rejoin RGGI.

Importantly, the Gov.’s press release and numerous press statements had to concede – given paltry actual greenhouse gas emissions reductions attributable to RGGI – that RGGI was not just a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, Gov. Murphy stressed that it was an “invest[ment] in our future”.

So what does that have to do with a nuke bailout? Plenty.

Stressing the “investment” angle, the Gov. highlighted a $279 million figure – claiming that NJ had lost this revenue, which could have been invested in solar and wind (a misleading statement we called him out on).

But why would the Gov. use a $279 multi-year figure?

The political reason the Gov. used a 7 year $279 million figure – instead of a $45 million annual revenue estimate – was to make it seem comparable to the $300 million PER YEAR nuclear bailout bill he will sign in the near future.

Like Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy, the false equivalency fact challenged media will ignore the annual versus 7 year period and Murphy will say he’s pursuing a “balanced approach”.

And, of course, a spoon full of RGGI sugar helps the nuke bailout go down. That’s why he did the RGGI initiative BEFORE he signed the nuke bailout. It’s called “inoculation”.

The Gov. has consolidated a “green” image and narrative in media and environmental group circles, and he did it with chump change in terms of actual policy commitments. See how easy it is to play ENGO’s and media?

[Update – 2/5/18 – Holy Moly! Talk about consolidating an image while co-opting the enviro’s and setting a low bar, take a look at this (photo too!) ~~~ end update]

Second, and even worse, today, NJ Spotlight reports on the even more cynical efforts to provide political cover for the nuke bailout: energy efficiency:


| JANUARY 31, 2018

Revamped nuclear subsidy bill includes mandate for utilities to curb amount of energy customers use

energy efficiency

The state is getting more serious about conserving how much gas and electricity its residents and businesses use.

Tucked into a complex and controversial bill (S-877) that would ask ratepayers to subsidize nuclear power in New Jersey is a new mandate that utilities begin reducing energy use by their customers.

But are those legislative cover provisions at least real?

Do they address the flaws I wrote about just yesterday (and just so happen to be reported today – see my boldface)? NJ Spotlight reported:

It is not quite an energy-efficiency portfolio standard — a goal long sought by clean-energy advocates but never adopted by state regulators. The provisions also fall short of targeting the amount of reductions achieved by neighboring states in energy efficiency, according to clean-energy advocates.

It doesn’t get any more cynical than that.

And, reflecting our recommendations to raise the bar, at least Doug O’Malley gets it. NJ Spotlight reported:

“This is supposed to mollify the clean-energy community, but it is an insult,’’ said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “This is not a plan to get us to 100 percent clean energy by 2050.’’ The latter is the cornerstone of Murphy’s clean-energy platform.

But predictably, that notoriously incompetent lying whore Tom Gilbert continues his shameful whoring. NJ Spotlight reported:

“There are key building blocks in there, like energy efficiency, solar, and offshore wind, but the details are missing,’’ said Tom Gilbert, campaign director for ReThink Energy NJ and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

And how’s this for setting the performance bar? The Gilbert statement not only flat out contradicts his prior claim that “the details are missing” (2% is a detail, no?) but it sets a pathetically low bar. As NJ Spotlight reported:

“It does not go far enough,’’ said Dennis Wilson, an energy entrepreneur who has been working in energy efficiency for the past dozen years. “It should be 2 percent.’’

Gilbert agreed. “It does not set the bar high enough,’’ noting other states in the Northeast have achieved 2 percent energy-efficiency savings. “It’s got to be done right.’’

Tom Gilbert – now he’s the 2% man.

[Update – 3/12/18 – This is getting ridiculous now – add “community solar” to the list. Are Ed Potosnak NJLCV, EDF & NRDC behind this too? see: COMMUNITY SOLAR SHARES THE SUN, SAVINGS ON ELECTRIC BILLS.

This latest cynical game will backfire big time, and generate resentments that will destroy the future prospects of community solar. Instead, we will get the nuke bailout and sham renewable goals.  Stop playing these games. Defend renewable and community solar on the merits, not as part of nuke bailout deal. ~~~ end update]


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