TRENTON – A proposed renewable energy division that would be created within the Department of Environmental Protection was met with skepticism by the head of the Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee Thursday.
Lou Greenwald, (D-6), Voorhees questioned why DEP doesn’t just become a partner with the Economic Development Authority to do the work.
“Why create another layer of government when we have a department that’s functioning well. Why are we not just partnering with them,” Greenwald asked. “Why would we not use the EDA?
“Someone needs to sit on point … to achieve those goals.”
The Christie Administration has expressed interest in offshore wind energy and other renewable energy projects, particularly in South Jersey.
DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said the creation of the office will expedite the process, having to avoid a long permitting process. It will have separate objectives than the EDA.
“I think you see this as a duplication. It’s not at all,” Martin said.
Still, Greenwald said the two departments could work together on fulfilling those goals, instead of having to create a separate office.
“I don’t want to create another fiefdom within another department,” he said.