On July 6, 2007, New Jersey Governor Corzine signed into law Assembly Bill 3301, known as the “Global Warming Response Act,” which limits the statewide emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 2006 levels by 2050. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is tasked with establishing 1990 and 2006 GHG inventories by July 2008, and must establish a GHG monitoring and reporting system by January 2009. This multisector monitoring and reporting system covers emissions associated with the use of fossil fuels for transportation in the state, electricity generation (both inside and outside the state), natural gas public utilities, and other entities that are significant emitters of GHGs. By June 2008, NJDEP must prepare a statewide GHG reduction strategy (including recommendations for legislative and regulatory action) that will enable the state to achieve the 2020 emission reduction target. By June 2010, a similar strategy will be prepared with respect to the 2050 target. An independent research review panel will be formed to review the ecological, economic, and social impacts of these GHG reduction strategies.
The Act also requires electric power suppliers to disclose environmental information about the source of electricity consumed by the customer, including data (on a #/MWhr basis) on emissions of sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and others.
The Act allows the state Board of Public Utilities to adopt an emissions portfolio standard applicable to all in-state generators of electricity. The Board is also authorized—in parallel with proceedings under RGGI or other agreements—to establish a GHG emission portfolio standard to mitigate “leakage” from electricity provided from out-of-state sources. By 2012, four percent of kilowatthours sold in New Jersey must be from Class I renewable energy sources, and net metering standards must be promulgated. The Board may also adopt an electric and natural gas energy efficiency standards requiring public utilities to implement energy efficiency measures that reduce electricity and gas use in the state by 2020 to a level that is 20% below the level that would have been consumed but for the standards.