Correction, 1/13/2023, 7:18 a.m.: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the woman seen speaking at the 1/12/2023 press event. It is Kim Gaddy, founder of the South Ward Environmental Alliance in Newark, not Janet Booker, shop steward of local 32BJ of the SEIU union.
TRENTON (SBN) – New Jersey labor, environmental, health and advocacy groups gathered at the State House Thursday to demand that Governor Phil Murphy keep a years-old commitment to end raids on the Clean Energy Fund to pay for other state budget priorities.
Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, says the groups are warning that New Jersey could lose momentum on the transition to clean energy if the money is siphoned off and used elsewhere.
“During the governor’s administration, there’s been roughly $500 million has been raided from the Clean Energy Fund,” O’Malley tells State Broadcast News. “That’s $500 million that doesn’t go towards energy efficiency programs like Comfort Partners, which provides weatherization for the most vulnerable New Jersey residents. That’s $500 million that doesn’t go to our electrification efforts for our vehicles. It’s $500 million to just go to clean energy jobs development or work for solar and offshore wind as well as work on energy storage. So there’s a multitude of needs in our clean energy economy and investments we need to make to help our most vulnerable residents that we aren’t making.”
New Jersey Policy Perspective has issued a report critical of the budget. The nonpartisan think tank says the Clean Energy Fund can’t be effective if successive governments keep rating it for other needs. New Jersey desperately needs the money for clean energy purposes because the state is still overly reliant on nonrenewable energy sources like fossil fuels, according to Alex Ambrose, a policy analyst with New Jersey Policy Perspective.
“The Clean Energy Fund was intended to be used to incentivize clean energy projects, make New Jersey more affordable, help low and moderate income families afford cost saving and energy saving appliances and so much more,” she says. “These incentives are essential to reaching those goals.”
The two were joined at the press event by Lloyd Kass, vice president, market development and regulatory strategy, Franklin Energy; Kim Gaddy, founder and director of the South Ward Environmental Alliance, Newark; André Thomas, training manager, Isles’ Center for Energy and Environmental Training, Trenton, and Janet Booker, shop steward with Local 32BJ of the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU).
You can hear an audio report on the press event in the player below.
Steve Lubetkin is the news director for StateBroadcastNews.com. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. He refocused on multimedia journalism and podcast production after a long career in corporate branded journalism and public relations.
He has won numerous awards for his audio and video news reporting from the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced a wide range of audio and video podcasts in his other role as managing partner of State Broadcast News’s parent, The Lubetkin Media Companies.
Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional.
In March 2021, he was elected to the board of directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and in July 2021 he was named secretary of the chapter. In August 2021, he was honored by SPJ with one of the organization’s 2021 Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Awards, given to regular members of an SPJ chapter who go above and beyond in serving their chapter.
Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996.
Steve also has reported on-camera and produces virtual conferences for NJSpotlightNews.org, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC.
From May-November 2019, he produced and reported a weekly podcast, The CRE News Hour, a news and features program focusing on the commercial real estate industry.
From 2014 to 2019 he was New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com and filled in covering Chicago/Midwest and Atlanta.
Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies.
Earlier in his career, Steve reported on rock music at the Jersey Shore for the Asbury Park Press, and was a broadcast news anchor and production engineer for WJLK-AM & FM, then owned by the Press. He also worked as a general assignment reporter for the Red Bank Register, Shrewsbury, NJ.
You can email Steve at email@example.com.