(3rd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) released the following statement Thursday on news the federal government plans to offer leases this November for offshore wind farms off New Jersey:
“We’ve been waiting a long time in New Jersey for good news when it comes to advancing offshore wind, so I’m happy to see any progress on this important issue. Unfortunately, with Gov. Christie’s leadership on this issue still lacking, we still have a long way to go.
“Offshore wind projects would create significant economic development and environmental benefits for the state. That’s why we passed our first bill to encourage offshore wind farms in 2010. I sponsored that bill and looked forward to it putting New Jersey in the forefront of states finding a cleaner means of producing electricity, but it hasn’t happened.
“The Board of Public Utilities in the Christie administration has dragged its feet, failing to develop a financing mechanism to pay for the electricity produced by the wind farms. Without it, nothing will get done, and that’s tragic for our state and its future.
“The BPU has no excuse for further delay. With the federal plans moving forward, the BPU must do its job and act – and act quickly.
“I hope the governor’s personal ambitions aren’t standing in the way of this progress and its benefits for our state, but I fear the worst. We should be far down the road of bringing wind energy to New Jersey, but all we have is perpetual stalling. That’s unacceptable.”