Daily Archives: August 26, 2009

New Jersey Green Energy Projects Supported by Corzine, Moving Forward

Two New Jersey green energy projects have been getting a bit of press lately. Each project has been support by Governor Corzine and will receive state aid in the form of federal stimulus money and other incentives.

Meadowlands solar farm gets support from Corzine, stimulus:

A plan by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission to build a 5-megawatt solar farm on a Kearny landfill site — the state’s largest such project — edged closer to reality Tuesday afternoon as Gov. Jon S. Corzine announced $8.5 million in federal stimulus funding for it.

Early in September, the Meadowlands Commission expects to get responses to its invitation in May for requests for proposals for the project, said Brian Aberdack, the agency’s public information officer. The project cost is yet to be determined, and will be “in the tens of millions of dollars,” but the agency had originally asked for $10 million in federal stimulus funds, he said.

The state Board of Public Utilities on Aug. 19 awarded the stimulus grant of $8.5 million for the project, carving it out of $20.6 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds it has received. At its board meeting that day, it also approved a $4.3 million federal stimulus grant for an NJ Transit solar installation in Kearny, which is another project Corzine announced Tuesday.

The Meadowlands Commission’s Kearny solar farm project is part of its larger plan to generate up to 20 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020 in the Meadowlands District. The commission is the zoning and planning agency of the Hackensack Meadowlands District, a 30.4-square-mile area along the Hackensack River covering parts of 14 municipalities in Bergen and Hudson counties.

The Meadowlands Commission’s solar farm will occupy a landfill of about 35 acres of a 57-acre lot, according to a press note the agency issued in May, when it invited bids to build and operate a grid-connected photovoltaic system. The landfill has been inactive for 25 years, and “settlement has substantially occurred,” the agency said.

If all goes well, construction on the project would start by year’s end, but a completion date has not been finalized, Aberdack said. The selected firm will enter into a 15- to 20-year lease and take ownership of all available tax credits, depreciation and solar renewable energy certificates associated with the project, according to the commission.

In July, New Jersey installed its 4,000th solar farm, making it second only to California in the number of such installations. njbiz.com

Officials tout buoys that capture wave energy off the Jersey coast:

State and local officials joined with Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) Tuesday to recognize the success of one of the Pennington-based company’s PowerBuoys off the coast of Atlantic City.

OPT is a pioneer in wave-energy technology that harnesses ocean wave resources to generate clean electricity.

“This is a celebration of our work in the renewable energy sector and an opportunity to thank the state and federal government for supporting OPT since the very beginning,” said Charles Dunleavy, the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer. “As we continue to achieve success in both the national and international markets, OPT is proud to have invented, developed, and grow our operations right here in New Jersey.”

The federal and state support, including assistance from the Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU), the state Economic Development Authority (EDA), and the state Commission on Science and Technology.

The PowerBuoy has successfully operated for three years off the coasts of Hawaii, Spain, Scotland and Oregon.

“Governor Jon Corzine’s comprehensive energy master plan calls for 30-percent of New Jersey’s energy to be generated from renewable sources by the year 2020,” said BPU President Jeanne Fox. “Ocean Power’s PowerBuoy can help us achieve that goal while also building New Jersey’s green economy and putting our people back to work. It’s exactly the kind of business success that the Governor envisions for New Jersey.”

OPT was founded 1994. It is a public company and operates out of a 23,000- square-foot facility. Since its inception, the company has focused on its proprietary PowerBuoy® technology, capturing wave energy using large floating buoys anchored to the sea bed and converting the energy into electricity using innovative power take-off systems.

Commencing in 1997, OPT has conducted ocean trials off the coast of New Jersey to demonstrate the concept of converting wave energy and convert it into electricity. Ocean Power currently has 42 employees in New Jersey and plans to continue its growth.

“Governor Corzine’s commitment to investing in clean energy has ensured New Jersey is able to attract and develop companies like Ocean Power Technologies,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini. “Ocean Power’s innovative technology and talented staff will only help to drive the company’s growth and the creation of more green jobs in the state.”

Franzini noted that EDA, in conjunction with BPU and the state Department of Environment Protection, recently launched Clean Energy Solutions, a suite of financing and incentive programs to further support the state’s effort to promote green job creation and a more environmentally responsible energy future.

For more information on the state’s energy master plan, visit http://www.nj.gov/emp. Businesses interested in learning more about all Clean Energy Solutions opportunities should visit http://www.njeda.com. newjerseynewsroom.com

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Filed under clean energy solutions, Economic Stimulus Package, Gov. Jon Corzine, green energy, New Jersey Newsroom, NJBIZ.com, PowerBuoys, solar farms, the Meadowlands, wave energy, wind and solar power

The Lion Of The Senate: Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009

…”Beneath it all, he has tried to engender a social conscience. There were wrongs which needed attention. There were people who were poor and needed help. And we have a responsibility to them and to this country. Through no virtues and accomplishments of our own, we have been fortunate enough to be born in the United States under the most comfortable conditions. We, therefore, have a responsibility to others who are less well off.”…

– Edward M. Kennedy, address at the Public Memorial Service for Robert F. Kennedy.

Early this morning news reports of the death of Senator Edward M. (Teddy) Kennedy started filtering through the media. Senator Kennedy passed quietly on Cape Cod after fighting brain cancer for more than a year.

Over the next few days and weeks many will eulogize Senator Kennedy for all that he and his family have meant to this country, but I don’t think anyone will come close to honoring Teddy’s memory in such a way, as he did when he stood in front of mourners and eulogized his bother Robert Kennedy after his assassination in 1968.

Senator Kennedy spoke both passionately and strongly about his brother that day, his voice, only quivering at the end when he quoted his late brother:
“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

“Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not.”

Much of what Edward Kennedy said about his brother Robert that day can be echoed and applied to himself.
Edward Kennedy spent much of his life fighting in the US Senate, for the princles that he and his family believed in and he will be sorely missed by all, whether you like him or not.

Listen to the eulogy of Robert F. Kennedy >>>Here

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Filed under eulogy, Robert F. Kennedy, Senator Edward Kennedy, The Lion of the Senate

Corzine Campaign Statement On The Brown Resignation

The following statement was released by Corzine campaign spokesperson, Elisabeth Smith, shortly after the sudden news of the resignation of Michele A. Brown, the acting first assistant U.S. Attorney for New Jersey:

“Michele Brown’s resignation today does nothing to put to rest questions about Christie’s conduct both in and outside of the U.S. Attorney’s office. Whether it was illegally laying the groundwork for his gubernatorial campaign from the U.S. Attorney’s office with the help of Karl Rove, maintaining a secret financial relationship with the number two at the U.S. Attorney’s office during his campaign, or rewarding political cronies with millions of dollars in no-bid contracts, Christie still must answer to serious legal and ethical questions. He can start by demanding the immediate release of public documents from his tenure as U.S. Attorney as requested by the Corzine campaign.”

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Filed under Chris Christie, Gov. Jon Corzine, Michele A. Brown, New Jersey, resignation, US Attorneys Office

Public Opinion Snapshot: Public Holding Steady on Key Elements of Health Care Reform

By Ruy Teixeira, The Center for American Progress

In the last month, the public’s view of Congress’ health care reform efforts has certainly darkened. But it’s striking how little change there has been in the public’s view of the basic elements of health care reform as articulated by President Barack Obama and progressives. These essentials of health care reform remain not just popular, but very popular. Consider these data from the just-released August edition of the Kaiser Health Care Tracking poll.

In the poll, 68 percent favor “requiring all Americans to have health insurance, either from their employer or from another source, with financial help for those who can’t afford it.” One month ago, the figure in the Kaiser tracking poll was an identical 68 percent. Similarly, 70 percent favor “offering tax credits to help people buy private health insurance,” which is actually up a point from July’s 69 percent. And 68 percent favor “requiring employers to offer health insurance to their workers or pay money into a government fund that will pay to cover those without insurance,” up 4 points from July’s 64 percent.

Finally, what about the public health insurance option that conservatives have attacked mercilessly and about which there has been so much controversy? Surely here the public has been scared away from their previous level of support. Nope. In the Kaiser poll, 59 percent favor “creating a government-administered public health insurance option similar to Medicare to compete with private health insurance plans,” exactly the same as July’s 59 percent.

It’s also worth noting that the public remains hopeful about the health care reform efforts in Washington (63 to 36 percent in the Kaiser poll). Perhaps that’s because the public knows that somewhere in that legislative logjam in Congress, the basic elements of health care reform as outlined above are still alive. Let’s hope Congress keeps health care reform on track and doesn’t disappoint them.

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Filed under Congress, health care debate, health care reform, Kaiser Health Care Tracking Poll, Medicare, President Obama, The Center for American Progress

Why Americans Need Health Reform

Without health reform, businesses’ costs will continue to increase, families’ out-of-pocket costs will rise, and American workers will not receive the health care they need to be healthy.

We need health reform, and we need it now. Here’s why:

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Filed under health care reform, small businesses, The Center for American Progress

Public Perception

There is a thin vale that separates reality from perception, very often ones own perception of events supersedes the reality of what actually has taken place. The Corzine campaign knows this and is using it to there advantage over Republican opponent Chris Christie.

The recent news about Christie speaking to Karl Rove about a potential run for the New Jersey governorship on top of the failure to disclose the loan of $46,000 to his assitant federal prosecutor, Michele Brown, while heading the US Attorneys office has left Christie open to attacks rightfully on his character and motivations.

The follwing opinion from piece from the Burlington County Times lays out Christie’s problem exactly:

Burlington County Times

Throughout his campaign for New Jersey governor, Republican candidate Chris Christie has represented himself as an ethics reformer who will “stop corruption in its tracks.”

Now that he has been forced to address questions about a $46,000 loan he made to an assistant when he was U.S. attorney, and that he failed to report it on his income tax and financial disclosure forms, he may want to change his approach.

Christie has said that it was all a mistake and that he plans to file all the amended paperwork.

OK, we’re willing to believe that.

But what really bothers us is the admission that Christie spoke with Karl Rove, adviser to former President George W. Bush, during his time as U.S. attorney. Rove has said that they discussed Christie’s interest in running for the state’s highest office. That means that Christie may have been actively pursuing the governorship while serving as a federal prosecutor. And that’s a violation of the Hatch Act, a law that restricts employees of the executive branch of the federal government, as well as state and federal employees, from any political activity.

Rove was well-known for blurring the lines between politics and the Justice Department and allegedly rated U.S. attorneys based on their loyalty. It also has been reported that he threatened to fire prosecutors who refused to pursue certain politically motivated cases.

In the middle of the 2006 election, Christie subpoenaed U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. The investigation never led to any charges. Democrats claimed at the time that the probe was politically motivated and now cite Christie’s conversation with Rove as proof.

Christie’s record of winning convictions against a large number of corrupt public officials struck a chord with Garden State voters sick and tired of political corruption in the state.

Now, the fact that the majority of those officials prosecuted by Christie during his tenure were Democrats seems less of a coincidence, and it’s easier to believe the link between Christie and former President Bush being made by Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s campaign.

If voters believe they’ll have to second-guess any and all of Christie’s work as a federal prosecutor, as well as the motivation behind it, what may have been a benign conversation could end up costing him the election.

It would not be the first time a candidate has been done in by public perception.

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Filed under Burlington County Times, Chris Christie, ethical violations, Gov. Jon Corzine, Hatch Act, Karl Rove, Michele A. Brown, US Attorneys Office