Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chair Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) on Thursday welcomed the news that New Jersey’s largest utility company – PSE&G – plans to invest billions of dollars to bolster and modernize its electric and gas operations.
“I enthusiastically welcome PSE&G’s ambitious plan to significantly invest $3.9 billion in our electric and gas distribution systems. Superstorm Sandy clearly demonstrated that our energy infrastructure is in desperate need of an upgrade.
“This investment will go a long way to guarantee greater system reliability, fewer and shorter service interruptions, and lower levels of economic loss when future ‘superstorms’ affect our state. This investment will provide several thousand much needed construction jobs for our sputtering economic recovery, and the modernization of our systems will allow our economy to grow unimpeded for decades to come.
“I call on the BPU to approve this plan and require other utility providers in our state to follow PSE&G’s aggressive lead.
“While I have full faith in the assertion of PSE&G’s CEO Ralph Izzo that this investment can be done without major increases to already high utility rates, it is imperative that the BPU verify this fact and act accordingly moving forward. A significant increase in rates will affect all NJ families and have a potentially crippling affect on New Jersey manufacturing businesses,” said Coutinho.