The health and safety of every New Jersey resident is threatened by the state's reliance on fossil fuels to power our homes, businesses, and transportation. Fossil fuels — such as gas, oil, and coal — account for a majority of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, with a large percentage generated by energy produced for heat and electricity. Air pollution and environmental toxins disproportionately harm New Jersey's low–income families and residents of color, who are more likely to live and work closest to sources of pollution.
In recent years, state lawmakers and the Murphy administration have set ambitious goals to reduce emissions that will require a transition to alternative energy sources that are clean, affordable, sustainable, and reliable. Renewable sources of energy have many advantages to fossil fuels — they are abundant, increasingly cost-efficient, healthier, and create jobs — but they require investments in new technology and infrastructure. The state's Clean Energy Fund, which is supported by a surcharge on monthly utility bills, is designed to support these investments in renewable energy, but the fund has been consistently raided by lawmakers to plug holes in the state budget. Since Fiscal Year 2010, lawmakers have raided nearly $2 billion from the fund, hampering the state's ability to meet its clean energy goals, improve air quality, and mitigate against the worst harms of the climate crisis.