CHIVUKULA CALLS FOR THOROUGH EXAMINATION OF CHRISTIE’S ENERGY MASTER PLAN, URGES CAUTION ON NUCLEAR COMPONENT

Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, Chair of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, released the following statement today on Governor Christie’s proposed Energy Master Plan:

“Governor Christie’s call for the Energy Master Plan to focus on more renewable energy, lower utility rates and job creation might be on target, but we need to make sure the details of the plan match his rhetoric.

“There is nothing new in this plan from what the previous administration and the legislature have proposed and accomplished. While I appreciate the consideration of new innovative technologies, such as fuel cell and energy storage technologies, smart grid technologies, and smart metering, it is not clear how the Governor proposes to achieve that while lowering energy rates. In addition, discussion of dynamic pricing is important as it can affect the ratepayers who can least afford it.

“There must be thorough hearings where both the public and industry experts can examine all of the finer details to make sure this plan truly lives up to the spirit of our state.

“Particularly when it comes to the proliferation of nuclear energy in New Jersey, we must proceed with extreme caution. I recently convened a roundtable discussion with a panel of experts where we had a chance to learn a great deal about the complex issues surrounding nuclear energy.

“In light of the disaster in Japan, any plan that includes this component must be forthright and detailed and examined thoroughly before being foisted on the people of this state,” said Chivukula (D-Middlesex/Somerset).