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October 02, 2013

Let 'Em Blow in New Jersey

Although we're both New Jersey born and raised, Governor Chris Christie and I disagree on many important issues -- not least his misguided love for the Mets. One thing we do agree on, though, is the real Boss of New Jersey. We both have seen our fair share of Bruce Springsteen performances. Unfortunately, neither of us started going to shows before Bruce stopped playing that great Fats Domino tune "Let the Four Winds Blow." (Never heard it? Try YouTube.)

Well, it's time to bring that song back, and New Jersey's the place to do it. According to a new poll conducted by Monmouth University, 75 percent of New Jerseyans favor building offshore wind in the state, and about two-thirds favor Governor Christie making offshore wind a priority for his administration. The poll also found that two-in-three New Jerseyans believe building offshore wind would strengthen New Jersey's economy.

Three years ago, Governor Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act but, ever since, his administration has done nothing to advance offshore wind. That has squandered the opportunity to make New Jersey a double-barreled clean-energy leader, since the state already ranks fourth nationally in total solar installations.

The benefits of offshore wind for New Jersey would be immediate and substantial. The proposed five-turbine demonstration wind farm for state waters off the coast of Atlantic City would power 10,000 homes and bring more than $150 million in economic activity and hundreds of jobs to the state.

That's why the Sierra Club is urging Governor Christie to see the light of day and direct the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to propose and implement a financing mechanism for offshore wind. They should then solicit bids for offshore wind project development. All we'll need to do then, in the words of Fats, is "let 'em blow, let 'em blow." 


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Michael Brune

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