Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has set “zero-emissions” vehicle requirements and other clean energy goals in New Jersey that are no more onerous than those implemented in Massachusetts by Republican Charlie Baker, but the debate has devolved into a series of lies and exaggerations that might make one welcome the end of the world that could result from continued inaction.
New Jersey is pursuing an agenda to drive its nine million residents away from the fossil fuels that are responsible for deadly global warming but profiteers and politicians are lying about the facts in order to prevent action that is urgently needed to save the planet.
Fuel merchants falsely argue that we can move toward a zero-carbon-emissions future without compromising our comfort or financial situations but our lack of commitment to achieve carbon neutrality has made time short for averting even worse results.
Among the lies posted on a website sponsored by the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey is, “The Energy Master Plan will force New Jersey homeowners who use natural gas or home heating oil to switch to electric heat pumps, which could cost households upwards of $20,000 or more.”
The plan does not require anyone to convert existing heating systems, although it would ban dirty old technology from being installed in new construction.
July is on track to be the hottest month on record —but despite searing temperatures, raging wildfires, and poor air quality exemplified by the smokey atmosphere that recently cast vibrant red sunsets and moon glow to the region—.
In 2019, Berkeley, California, voted to ban natural gas connections in all new construction and San Francisco and New York City followed with similar requirements for new buildings.
The members of the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey, former Democratic Assemblyman John Burzichelli and Republican state Senators Holly Schepisi and Anthony Bucco are falsely claiming that the plan approved by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to encourage the electrification of homes and businesses includes “overreaching mandates and costly bans of natural gas stoves and appliances.”
Several parts of those arguments are just flat-out lies. “We are not coming for your gas stoves or your local pizza shop’s oven,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, the BPU president. “We are not forcing you to switch to electric.”
Fiordaliso explained that new construction in New Jersey would be required to install appliances that run on electricity, which may be produced without carbon emissions through solar-, nuclear- and wind-based power generating systems.
Climate-killing fossil fuels supplied by the coal, oil, and propane industries are not more affordable than electricity.
A sizzling heat dome spread misery over the North American continent, and hospitals reported a spike in the number of heat-related illnesses, as it became clear that July would rank as the hottest month ever recorded, and it was increasingly likely that 2023 and 2024 may end up being the hottest years ever.
But politicians in service of the industries responsible for the declining quality of life were spreading lies in order to delay action considered necessary.
Gas stoves cook food using an open flame when the gas is ignited, while electric stoves use electricity and metal heating elements to prepare food. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options but only one would contribute to the destruction of the planet’s capacity to sustain life by producing emissions that are harmful to humans and the environment.
Electric stoves are generally considered much safer than gas stoves. Gas stoves can produce harmful emissions, like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Such gasses can be dangerous, especially when they are not well-ventilated.
Gas stoves have open flames, so there’s a greater chance of a flammable item—like a paper towel or dishcloth—catching fire.
Gas stoves also tend to cost a bit more to install than electric stoves, but not by much, and prices vary quite a bit depending on the model, brand, and features. Operating costs
Scrubbing stoves with open electric coils is comparable to washing gas stoves with burners and grates, but electric appliances with a glass or ceramic top are usually much easier to clean. When cooled, these electric stove tops clean up with just the wipe of a damp rag and dish soap.
Burzichelli, who is challenging GOP state Sen. Edward Durr, displayed the kind of cowardice and disloyalty that has undermined public support for establishment Democrats, essentially trying to mimic Republican talking points instead of telling the truth.
Scientists delivered a “final warning” on the climate crisis, as rising greenhouse gas emissions push the world to the brink of irrevocable damage that only swift and drastic action can avert.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, set out the final part of its mammoth sixth assessment report in March.
The comprehensive review of human knowledge of the climate crisis took hundreds of scientists eight years to compile and runs to thousands of pages, but boiled down to one message: act now, or it will be too late.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”
In sober language, the IPCC set out the devastation that has already been inflicted on swathes of the world. Extreme weather caused by climate breakdown has led to increased deaths from intensifying heatwaves in all regions, millions of lives and homes destroyed in droughts and floods, millions of people facing hunger, and “increasingly irreversible losses” in vital ecosystems.
Those warnings were not clear enough to penetrate the partisan bubble in Trenton.
“New Jerseyans are learning that the ultimate goal of ‘building decarbonization’ and Gov. Murphy’s extreme green energy plan is the elimination of affordable natural gas and the extremely costly replacement of gas stoves, furnaces, and hot water heaters,” said Republican state Sen. Anthony Bucco, who neglected to identify another way the state could avert the catastrophic consequences of climate change.
Bucco lied by saying the administration’s effort to convert to clean energy will require “bans, mandates, expensive conversions, and higher energy bills.”
But like many other places in the country, the moves, designed to lessen the harmful impact of burning fossil fuels on the planet’s climate, are garnering significant opposition from foes who warn that the government is coming to take away your stove and your car.
New Jersey’s building decarbonization start-up programs will be part of the portfolios of energy efficiency programs implemented pursuant to the New Jersey Clean Energy Act of 2018.
The building decarbonization start-up programs will also contribute toward goals of installing zero-carbon-emission space heating and cooling systems in 400,000 homes and 20,000 commercial properties and making 10 percent of all low-to-moderate income (LMI) properties electrification-ready by 2030.
New Jersey utility regulators on Wednesday approved a series of “decarbonization” measures designed to incentivize buildings to switch from natural gas heat to electric. Participation in the programs is strictly voluntary, according to the chairman of the state Board of Public Utilities, who lashed out against “misinformation and lies” being circulated by opponents.