With hearings about to end on a petition by Public Service Electric & Gas to spend $2.6 billion to harden its power infrastructure, the utility could be encouraged by the release of independent reports saying climate change poses a serious strain on energy supplies.
It is an argument the Newark company frequently has made during the hearings before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which are expected to end today. PSE&G noted that the three worst storms in its more than century-old history, which left millions of customers without power, all occurred in the past 18 months.
The reports, prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy and by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, suggest thatof cascading failures. » Click here for the full post
Punched by Bridgegate, kicked by Sandy controversies and spit in the face by conservatives, Gov. Chris Christie today will try to brush himself off and offer a hand in peace to a critical crowd.
Christie is in Maryland addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gathering, the most important confab of movement conservatives and an essential stop for any potential Republican candidate for president. He won't mention Bridgegate, aides say, but expect him to take three steps toward rebuilding his reputation among those who play such an important role in the GOP primaries and caucuses.
First, he will reintroduce himself to those on the right who have been distrustful of Christie's occasionally moderate approach to governance and relationships with Democrats, particularly President Obama after Sandy. He will link himself to other Republican governors, saying he has created conservative reform in a blue state -- a contrast to the partisan dysfunction of Washington.» Click here for the full post
The Obama administration decided this week that people with skimpy health insurance plans can keep them for up to three more years, a move that drew heat from Republicans and could affect thousands of New Jersey residents who have small-group insurance through a United Healthcare subsidiary.
Still, the move is expected to have minimal impact in New Jersey. That’s because while Gov. Chris Christie said in November that the state would leave it to insurers to decide if they wanted to continue offering transitional plans that did not fully comply with the Affordable Care Act, most insurers declined to do so this year.
The decision to allow insurers to continue selling plans that do not fully comply with the ACA was widely described asfrom political attacks tying them to the ACA. The next wave of plan cancellations had been expected to come in October, just before the fall congressional elections. » Click here for the full post
New Jersey’s solar industry supported 6,500 jobs, provided 100 percent of new electrical capacity in 2013, and was enough to power 33,701 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
And despite dire predictions that Jersey’s solar industry could crash, the state ranked fifth in the country for newly installed solar power last year, at 235.6 megawatts, after California, Arizona, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.
The state now ranks third in the country in terms of installed solar power, with 1,211 megawatts, following California and Arizona. It has more than double the amount of installed power as fourth-ranked North Carolina, which only has 557 megawatts.» Click here for the full post
Aiming to end a long impasse over how to finance open-space preservation, one of the leading proponents of the cause has come up with a new proposal to fund a program that is virtually out of money.
The proposal () introduced last Thursday, which would have to be approved by voters in a statewide referendum, would constitutionally dedicate at least $150 million out of corporate business taxes to finance preservation of open space, farmland, and historic structures.
The measure aims to unite the environmental community around an issue that for the past few years has been very divisive: how to fund one of the state’s most popular programs, protecting open space, preserving farmland, and maintaining many of the state’s historical building -- a cause embraced by conservationists, local officials, and counties.» Click here for the full post
An angry New Jersey appellate panel yesterday considered a number of actions -- including threatening a state agency with a finding of contempt -- to force the Christie administration to promulgate affordable-housing regulations in a case the lead lawyer said is unprecedented in testing the strength of the court.
It's unclear what action the three-judge appeals panel will take, but what was very clear was the judges' impatience and annoyance with the lack of action by the Council on Affordable Housing to set municipal housing quotas as ordered by the Appellate Division of state Superior Court and the state Supreme Court.
Appellate Division Presiding Judge Jose Fuentes repeatedly asked why COAH representatives haven’t met and what the council has been doing -- and the judge was not satisfied with the answers he received.» Click here for the full post
Building on last year’s online sales tax agreement with Amazon, Gov. Chris Christie’s upcoming budget includes a plan to require out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales tax from New Jerseyans. It's also an issue that is up for consideration by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and one that puts Christie at odds with most of his potential rivals for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.
Christie’s treasurer, Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, decided to include $28 million in his budget for Fiscal Year 2015 for sales tax collections by online retailers who have no stores or outlets in New Jersey after thenot to take up an appeal challenging the right of New York State to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax from its citizens.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the case essentially gave states a yellow light to proceed with requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on Internet purchasers while the GOP-controlled House decides whether to join the Democratic Senate in approving the federal Marketplace Fairness Act, which would authorize the practice nationwide.» Click here for the full post
Gov. Chris Christie has ridden the Sandy disaster to victory and a second term in the November election and used it to bolster his image as take-charge sort of guy -- with a heart of gold -- on the national stage. But here in New Jersey, details are beginning to emerge about the Sandy recovery, and they raise questions.
For instance, our investigative story this week reveals that decision-making about Sandy fund allocations is chaotic and error-plagued at best. And the administration has kept a tight lid both on how decisions are made and on what decision have been made.
At a town hall meeting this week, the governor blamed the federal government for the slow pace of Sandy payouts. What's your opinion?» Click here for the full post