The New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP reviews the state’s latest renewable energy legislation.
First, these new bills, once signed into effect by Gov. Murphy, will make it so that if you live in an apartment building, own a small business, are lower-income, and so forth in New Jersey, you will be able to lease solar panels and have equal access to clean-energy ownership, as either individuals or together with a group of people, through a community solar program. As lower-income communities spend a disproportionate amount of their hard-earned income on utility bills compared to higher-income households, it is critical to implement legislation like these bills that can lower your electric bills and ensure consumption of clean energy with zero emissions.
Second, traditional sources of energy cause dangerous smog and air pollution which disproportionately impacts communities of color. We know firsthand from reports like the NAACP and Clean Air Task Force’s, that oil and gas companies build toxic facilities close to the properties of African-Americans and lower-income residents. This means that people living in these communities are suffering from high cancer rates, asthma rates, and other health problems from this type of dirty energy.