Governor Christie has put forth a finalized Energy Master Plan for the Garden state.

He says the plan strategically balances “the development of new sources of clean energy, including natural gas, with renewable, and demonstrates his Administration’s firm commitment to change the way energy is produced, distributed and used as part of our broader emphasis on driving the development of cleaner and renewable sources of energy to spur business and economic growth throughout the Garden State,”

Christie says “Jersey’s reliance on solar energy will continue to grow – you should know that New Jersey now is the number one solar energy state in America – we’ve now passed California – we use more solar energy, produce more solar energy , than any other state in the country.”

He adds the new energy master plan also puts more emphasis on the use of natural gas, “because it’s the cleanest burning, most available of the fuels – my view is we should be pushing to make sure that we use natural gas more – it burns cleaner, it’s cheaper, and it’s more effective and it’s right here in the United States…it’s a domestically available energy source – we don’t have to go to the Middle East to get it – we can do it and produce it right here in America.”

The Governor points out “with all of these things you have to balance cost cause we’re in really difficult times, and how much can we afford to spend and invest – versus how much we have to kind of dig out of a hole we’ve already dug for ourselves…but moving forward, there’s going to be much more of an emphasis in New Jersey on using natural gas- both for transportation and for electricity…getting more natural gas-fired electric plants generating in New Jersey to help bring your costs down for your electric bill.”

Democratic Assembly Environment Chairman John F. McKeon says “the previous Energy Master Plan which included New Jersey as a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative created thousands of good paying jobs as it moved us toward a renewable future…the current plan is regressive, shortsighted and will promulgate our reliance on fossil fuels.”