POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Accompanied by Al Gore, Murphy expands offshore wind goals for NJ

BY Michael Aron, Chief Political Correspondent |

At Newark’s Liberty Science Center on Tuesday, the mood was upbeat as former Vice President Al Gore joined Gov. Phil Murphy for the signing of an executive order on offshore wind.

Gov. Murphy signed an executive order 18 months ago setting a goal of 3500 megawatts of wind-generated electricity by 2030.

“In just a few minutes, I will proudly sign an executive order raising our goal from 3500 megawatts of offshore wind-generated electricity by 2030, to a new goal that by the year 2035 — only five years later — we will achieve 7500 megawatts of offshore wind energy,” said Murphy.

That’s enough, Murphy said, to power half the homes in New Jersey.

The governor has another goal — making New Jersey 100% a clean energy state. He said with more solar and electric vehicles, the state can get there — creating large business investments and thousands of union jobs in the process.

Murphy’s wife is trying to get New Jersey schools to insert climate change into the curriculum at all grade levels.

“When we take the time to really pay attention to the science, it’s really easy to be frightened,” said Tammy Murphy, who serves on the board of Gore’s Climate Reality Action Fund. “Our environment is at stake, and so is our way of life.”

Gore lamented that the current President of the United States doesn’t believe in climate change and pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accord.

“By the way, if there is a new president, excuse me for a moment (he prays), then a new president would simply give 30 days notice and we’d be right back in the Paris Agreement,” said Gore.

“Whether by ourselves, with 7500 megawatts, or in partnership with New York which has set its own huge goal, we have an immense opportunity to maximize our potential and make this region, and specifically New Jersey, the nexus of the global offshore wind industry,” said Murphy.

“Every time we build more offshore wind, every time we build more solar, it’s another nail in the coffin of fossil fuels,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the NJ Sierra Club.

According to the man who wrote “An Inconvenient Truth,” climate change is the challenge of our time.

“There must be no mistake. This is Thermopylae, this is Agincourt, this is Pearl Harbor, this is Midway, this is the Battle of the Bulge, this is 9/11,” said Tittel. “We have to rise to this challenge. We have to change.”