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Phil Murphy is racing against Andrew Cuomo for the Demagogue of the Year top honors at the Annual Pander Bear Awards to be held later this year in NYC.
Our buddy Jim Willis over at Marcellus Drilling News had a story yesterday about Phil Murphy and his new plan to eliminate the use of natural gas in the Garden state in less than 30 years, by 2050. Packaged as the “Protecting Against Climate Threats” or PACT, t’s insane pandering, of course, to true believers, ignorant urban voters and Goldman Sachs green eggs scammers. Phil Murphy is playing demagogue just like his buddy on the other side of the Hudson. That it flies completely in the face of reality shows how corrupt politics in these two states have become.
This one chart below provides all you need to know to appreciate just how insane this proposal by Phil Murphy really is. It comes from U.S. Census American Community Survey data for 2017 and shows 75% of New Jersey’s nearly 3.2 million homes are heated by natural gas. That’s almost 2.4 million homes, not counting the roughly half of those homes heated with electricity made from gas. Solar energy heats less than oner-tenth of one percent of what natural gas heats. But, Phil Murphy promises to change all that, even natural gas use is up from 72% of homes in 2009.
The ugly politics of all this are simple:
- Phil Murphy knows he’ll be out of office in early 2026 if not sooner. Promising something 24 years later is a cheap, if stupid and despicable, political stunt.
- Meanwhile, former Goldman Sachs financier Phil Murphy knows there are billions and billions of dollars in easy government rent for green eggs and scam.
- Utility companies are willing go along provided the politicians work in “lockstep” with them. They know they can simply pass the outrageous costs along to consumers.
- Usual suspect anti-growth environmental groups, funded by the trust-funders at William Penn Foundation, of course, get an ego boost and more money in their coffers.
- The New Jersey Business & Industry Association called the plan “ambitious” but said the goals were “laudable.” They said they had “concerns” about cost impacts to businesses without a “ratepayer impact study” being conducted.
The last of these observations is perhaps the saddest, even though the spokesperson for Business & Industry Association said “we question the feasibility and reliability of a rushed abandonment of the use of natural gas, an energy source that heats more than 75% of New Jersey’s homes and businesses, and generates more than 50% of our electricity.”
Why? Because it’s this sort of lukewarm, pastel colored opposition that ensures Phil Murphy will only go more radical next time. The statements are accurate but without the slightest passion; written in the sort of PR-speak business corporations tend to use on the advice of lawyers and which invariably do more harm than good. What the Association should have said is “Phil Murphy is leading New Jersey into economic disaster and throwing your money away on a ridiculous PACT that is going to take the money you’ve saved on natural gas and give it to his buddies at Goldman Sachs.”
Try getting that past the lawyers, but it’s what should have been said if business was really interesting in fighting back. And, it’s what the other side would have said if the shoe were on the other foot. This is why nonsense of the sort Phil Murphy is delivering in this case gets traction. Our side doesn’t know how to fight.
But, there is hope. A New Jersey Assemblyman by the name of Jay Webber is talking truth close to the way it ought to be told (emphasis added):
The energy master plan announced by Gov. Phil Murphy today calls for eliminating the state’s reliance on natural gas. Assemblyman Jay Webber said the plan is irresponsible and called on the Legislature to stop it from moving forward.
“The governor’s plan would effectively end natural gas service in New Jersey; but, New Jerseyans need natural gas, which is an abundant, affordable, clean and reliable energy source,” said Webber (R-Morris). “Not only are 75 percent of our homes and businesses heated with natural gas, but about 50 percent of our electricity is generated from it. Natural gas also is critical as a raw material for manufacturing.”
“If the governor’s plans are carried out, the cost of energy, and therefore the cost of living, will rise dramatically for all New Jerseyans, including for seniors and the middle class whose backs the governor always promises to have,” continued Webber.
Webber said that one estimate shows that homeowners could be on the hook for anywhere between $6,000 and $25,000 just to upgrade or retrofit their homes to meet Murphy’s new rules.
“The governor’s plan is simply divorced from the everyday reality of average New Jerseyans,” concluded Webber. “To kill off natural gas in our state is to condemn us to a darker, dirtier, costlier, and less competitive future. His plan is unacceptable, and I call on both houses of the Legislature to block it immediately.”
There’s at least one true leader left in New Jersey and it’s not Phil Murphy, who looks to win that Pander Bear Award this year.
This post appeared first on Natural Gas Now.