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Burzichelli: BPU’s Clean Energy Fund Siphoned Annually for General Fund, Money Should Be Used to Lower Residents’ Electric Bills

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s annual diversion of dollars from the Clean Energy Fund to use for the state’s General Fund.
The legislator notes the fund was tapped during two previous years prior to the Christie administration; however, in the last four years the diverting of funds has continued and become more exorbitant –to the tune of $820 million dollars since 2010, according to the Office of Legislative services.

“The Board of Public Utilities’ Chairman Robert Hannah made it clear in the recent budget hearing that the Clean Energy Fund over the years has been more than provided for by the agency’s annual revenue stream.

“Matter of fact, there seems to be more money in the fund than needed apparently. It has been tapped year after year, under this Administration, for exorbitant amounts to balance the General Fund.

“With electric rates rising rapidly nearly equal to that of quarterly property tax bills, it’s absurd and unfair to residents’ to dig into this fund for millions each year.

“If the money is not going to be used for its intended purpose, then give it back to benefit the average ratepayer. The fund’s excess is serving as nothing more than a taxation vehicle. Residents’ should not be made to bear the burden of its cost.

“At the end of day, our task as legislators remains clear: to ensure the budget is balanced fairly and judiciously, not on the backs of hardworking New Jerseyans.”