By Sarah Golden July 9, 2020. GreenBiz.
If you want to know what state-level clean energy leadership looks like, look no further than New Jersey.
Since the beginning of the year, the Garden State has made headlines for three initiatives: its plans to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2050; its investment in offshore wind; and its proposal to create an Office of Clean Energy and Equity.
All three are commendable in their own right. They show how a state can signal the opportunities inherent in the clean energy economy, and the importance that it works for everyone.
One person at the center of these initiatives is Joseph Fiordaliso, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. At the end of June, I talked to Fiordaliso to better understand his perspective on the potential of clean energy, the importance of equity within all initiatives and how states can lead the way forward. The interview is edited for length and clarity.
Sarah Golden: I wanted to talk to you about the Office of Clean Energy and Equity. Am I right in thinking this is the first office of this type in the United States?
Joe Fiordaliso: I don’t want to say “yes” to that because I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that it’s the first office for the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
The purpose is to ensure the fact that every community, regardless of income, regardless of where they live, is afforded the opportunity to participate in the green revolution that is occurring in the state of New Jersey. And we cannot be successful, looking at a very selfish perspective, if everyone is not involved. And everyone should be involved because everyone pays into it. And to say it’s only for the super-rich doesn’t sit well with me or Gov. [Phil] Murphy.