Calling it “superfluous” and “redundant,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Jan. 13 vetoed a bill passed by the state Legislature that would have required the state to alter its Energy Master Plan.
“With this bill, the Legislature seeks to require the State’s Energy Master Plan (‘EMP’) to incorporate benchmarks designed to measure the State’s progress towards meeting its long-term energy objectives and for the EMP to analyze the efficiency of generation capacity and the State’s energy infrastructure,” said a veto message from the governor. “In advancing this bill, however, the Legislature overlooked the fact that my 2011 EMP already includes interim implementation of measures designed to achieve the State’s long-term objectives and discusses in detail the promotion of a diverse portfolio of new, in-state, clean-energy generation and the accordant energy infrastructure opportunities and challenges facing the State.”
The advancement of this “redundant” legislation must be contrasted with the Legislature’s failure to act on other priority initiatives,” Christie added. “For example, informed by lessons learned from Tropical Storm Irene and two months before Superstorm Sandy made landfall, I sent to the Legislature ‘The Reliability, Preparedness, and Storm Response Act of 2012.’ That legislation was another step in my Administration’s commitment to protect ratepayers and improve utility response to emergencies by, among other things, substantially strengthening and modernizing the Board of Public Utilities’ (‘BPU’) enforcement powers. In the intervening 16 months, the Legislature has failed to pass that important legislation. Instead, the Legislature advanced a version of my proposal that watered down the enforcement mechanism and exempted certain utilities from its purview.”
The Legislature has instead delivered a “superfluous bill” that fundamentally does not alter the state’s EMP and does not address existing energy infrastructure issues identified by the Christie Administration, the governor added.