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Wind and solar package gains in New Jersey Senate  

A package of bills designed to encourage New Jersey’s use of wind and solar energy advanced in the Senate yesterday.

Under the legislation, renewable energy facilities could be located in any 20-acre industrial area, allowing the state’s older urban areas to benefit from green technology in their redevelopment efforts, said bill sponsor Sen. Bob Smith (D- Middlesex). In addition to that bill (S1299), another (S1538) would permit owners of preserved farmland to build and operate wind and solar equipment there to help power their farms.

A third bill (S1303) would extend to renewable energy facilities the label of “inherently beneficial use,” which could ease their path through the zoning approval process. Projects like hospitals and schools now fall under that category, Smith said.

With the price of fuel spiking, the need to explore alternative energy sources is more pressing, he said.

“We need to clear obstacles to renewable energy generation facilities, and ensure that we make a statewide push for cleaner, cheaper energy which moves us away from our dependency on foreign oil and older, environmentally damaging technology,” Smith said.

The three bills unanimously passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee and will go to the full Senate for consideration. Meet the governor’s

new press secretary Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday named a former spokesman for Govs. Richard Codey and James E. McGreevey as his new press secretary.

Sean Darcy, who was most re cently working as an issues liaison in Corzine’s office, takes over for Lilo Stainton, a former Gannett reporter who left last week to become the communications director at the state Meadowlands Commission. Darcy has also served as the communications director for the state Department of Community Affairs and as a deputy press secretary under Codey and McGreevey.

“Sean’s extensive experience in the governmental process and his ability to communicate complicated issues in clear, concise terms will be an invaluable asset to the administration,” Corzine said.

Darcy said he is “very grateful” for the opportunity and hopes to further the Corzine administration’s “significant strides towards restoring fiscal sanity, implement ing long-term property tax reform and raising ethical standards throughout government.” Clear price displays

sought for gas stations A bill that would require gas stations to clearly indicate both the cash and credit prices for any motor fuels they sell was approved yesterday by the Senate Transportation Committee.

Sponsored by Sens. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), the bill would require retailers to clearly display the price they charge for credit card purchases if it differs from the price charged for cash purchases on all signs denoting fuel prices. Those in violation of the requirement would face a $1000 fine per incident.

“I’ve experienced firsthand how gas stations posting one price on their road signs but charging drivers more when they get to the pump and use a credit card,” Turner said. “It’s unfair to all drivers who look to find the best price in town only to be charged up to twelve cents more than was clearly advertised. Gas stations need to be up front with what they are charg ing drivers.”

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

The Star-Ledger

10 June 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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