Energy Comm. advances bill to boost wind energy industry

TRENTON – The Senate Environment and Energy Committee unanimously released SJR48, a resolution that would designate the second Saturday in May as “One Day One School” Awareness Day.

The program brings together residents and tree experts to make school grounds safer by providing for the upkeep, planting, and when necessary, removal of trees.

The School Boards Association backs the bill.

The committee dealt with other bills:

S1561: This bill would exempt from the sales tax the materials used in the manufacturing of wind energy components. It passed unanimously.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jim Whelan, (D-2), Atlantic City, would help the boat-building industry make the transition to building turbines and other wind energy parts.

However, in April, the Sales and Use Tax Review Commission recommended the bill not be enacted.

Whelan said New Jersey has done a good job as second in the nation in solar installations, but the panels are overwhelmingly made in China.

“We lost an opportunity to have panels manufactured here not just for New Jersey but for the rest of the country,” he said. “As we address wind energy, I would like to avoid that mistake.”

He wants New Jersey to become a hub for manufacturing turbines not just here but for other states.

Sen. Jennifer Beck seconded Whelan’s remarks regarding the bill’s importance.  Although the state may lose $7 million in sales tax revenue, the money made from manufacturing will ultimately aid the state’s economy overall, she explained.

Energy Comm. advances bill to boost wind energy industry