Recently, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection released the State’s draft plan on addressing global warming. (click here for a copy of the plan). This plan behind schedule as the Global Warming Response Act required that the plan be presented to the Governor, legislators and the Treasurer no latter than June 30, 2008. NJSA 26:2C-42(c). At least part of the delay was the desire to utilize the State’ energy master plan which was released in October.
DEP will be holding several public hearings on portions of the plan in January with the intent of finalizing the plan. This would also seem to me to indicate that DEP will not make the January 1, 2009 deadline for reporting how the State is doing with emissions, reduction of emissions and progress on the plan.
While I am reviewing the plan, here are a few highlights. The Plan is broken down into sectors: Land Use, Transportation, Energy Efficiency, Renewable energy and provides many recommendations on how to proceed. The Plan also points to three things the State has done while it was generating this plan: The Energy Master Plan, RGGI and the State’s Low Emission Vehicle program.
I do not want to knock the State, but if these are the three major things the State has done to move its battle on global warming, I am somewhat disappointed. First, we missed the first RGGI auction. The second auction is scheduled for today and NJ is participating. Second, the EMP was just finalized and many of its recommendations need legislative action. Some of this Legislative action has been proposed for many months (if not a couple of years) and is not moving. Lastly, the State’s adoption of the California low emission vehicle program is on hold and in litigation. For California’s program to be in effect, EPA had to issue a waiver to California. Once that waiver was issued the other states could follow. EPA denied that waiver last year. This denial has resulted in a lawsuit by California and a call for EPA to reconsider. With the new administration and our new EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, hopefully the waiver will be reconsidered and issued.
In short I still have to finish my review but I am glad that there is a plan and the State will be taking public comments on the plan. I hope to have more information on the plan up shortly.