Chivukula: Restructure unresponsive BPU

TRENTON – The Board of Public Utilities has been a thorn in Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula’s side for years and he has had enough.

The chairman of the Utilities Committee called Wednesday for a complete restructuring of a regulatory agency that he sees as unresponsive and even obstructionist.

“The failure of the BPU to implement rulemaking has prevented several groundbreaking measures that were signed into law from being implemented and benefiting New Jersey ratepayers,” Chivukula said in a release.

For example, Chivukula said that despite having a bill to provide $100 million in tax credit incentives for offshore wind energy, BPU did not put in place a program to make wind energy viable for developers by requiring a percentage of electricity be from wind.

Another bill he said BPU ignored would have given industrial and commercial ratepayers credits for investments in energy efficiency.

“The measure was in response to an unprecedented raid of more than $800 million in clean energy funds generated by the SBC (Societal Benefits Charge) in the past four years and is intended to ensure that at least a portion of clean energy funds meant for the use and development of renewable sources are allocated for such purposes,” he said

“The BPU continues to shortchange ratepayers and to violate the intent of the Legislature and the state’s highest executive with its failure to implement measures signed into law.”

At more than a few committee hearings, Chivukula has often excoriated BPU for not providing personnel to answer basic questions on various issues and legislative proposals. 

Chivukula in general has often been at odds with the Christie administration over its energy policy. Chivukula opposed the state’s withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, for example.

BPU officials could not be reached immediately for a reaction.

Chivukula: Restructure unresponsive BPU