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Legislation To Create Murphy “Green Bank” Considered By Senate

Bill Diverts $50 Million Of Clean Energy Funds From Poor People To Corporations

No Standards Or Links To Climate And Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions

Labor Unions And DEP Excluded From The “Green” Investment Program

Tomorrow, the Senate Environment Committee will consider a bill (S3603) to create Gov. Murphy’s “Green Bank”.

I recently criticized that Murphy initiative in this post, by comparing it to New York State climate activists $15 BILLION climate funding campaign (new State money, not a diversion or federal funds) and NY Gov.’s commitment to a $10 billion program, funded by polluters, not taxpayers, see:

The bill is seriously flawed and must be significantly amended or scrapped.

The bill also raises the question of who controls the State allocation of billions of dollars in various federal infrastructure funds and what those funds can and will be used for.

A similar lack of transparency, public participation, and accountability led to serious abuses by the Christie administration’s unilateral control over billions of federal dollars in Sandy aid.

I submitted the following testimony to the Committee opposing the bill and laying out the flaws that must be remedied by major amendments. The sponsor, Senator Singleton’s office, at least responded to my email.

———- Original Message ———-

From: Bill WOLFE <>

To: senbsmith <SenBSmith@njleg.org>, sengreenstein <sengreenstein@njleg.org>, “sensingleton@njleg.org” <sensingleton@njleg.org>

Date: 03/07/2023 6:15 PM

Subject: S3603

Dear Chairman Smith and Senator Singleton –

Please accept the following testimony in opposition to S3603.

I oppose the bill for the following reason:

1) The bill does not create new sources of funding.

The bill instead would divert $50 million from the Clean Energy Fund created by the Societal Benefits Charge (SBC). The CEF has been raided and hundreds of millions of dollars diverted. The raids must stop.

The SBC funds are more efficiently, effectively, and equitably used to fund the most cost effective carbon emissions reduction projects, which are energy conservation projects in low and moderate income residential buildings, as opposed to the eligible uses allowed by the bill.

If the Green Bank is sound public policy, it should be funded by new revenues, not cannibalize scare funds that are already inadequate.

2) The allowable uses of funds include “other forms of financial assistance”. This use is far too broadly defined and vague. It amounts to a blank check. It would allow grants. That is particularly poor policy in light of the eligible entities, which include, without limitation, private corporations.

3) The bill lacks any technical or scientific or regulatory performance metrics related to assuring that the projects funded produce a reduction in carbon (greenhouse gas) emissions.

The bill also lacks any links to or integration with the goals of the Global Warming Response Act or DEP regulatory programs.

4) Section 2 of the bill does not link the EDA performance standards for eligible projects to any scientific or regulatory methodology to assure transparency, accountability, and real greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

5) The consultation provisions of Section 2 do not include NJ DEP, the State of NJ’s primary climate science and policy experts. DEP not only is the primary State agency, DEP is authorized by law to implement clean air and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. They must be a core member of any Green Bank.

6) The bill would allow funding to “nonprofit organizations”. There are no standards to define and limit what a bonafide non profit organization is. This opens up multiple opportunities for abuse and puts the Bank and EDA in the improper role of certifying appropriate nonprofit institutions. For example, could an Exxon Mobil formed and funded nonprofit be eligible? A religious nonprofit? A NJBIA or Chamber of Commerce nonprofit?

7) The bill would allow the Green Bank to accept money donations from “private sources” and accept  “charitable gifts, grants, and contributions, as well as loans, from individuals, corporations, university endowments, and philanthropic foundations;”

This opens up an ethical can or worms and promotes pay to play, privatization, and other inappropriate schemes.

***8) The bill fails to include a role for Unions in the operation of the Bank and the allocation of green investment funds, or any mandatory union or labor standards. That is totally unacceptable.

I strongly urge that the bill be held so that significant amendment to address the above concerns can be developed.


Bill Wolfe

*** #8 was added to email via this post

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