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New Jersey Sets Goal to Cut Natural Gas Use 80% by 2050

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 1/27/2020 Christopher Martin

(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey’s plan to eliminate man-made carbon emissions relies on big reductions in natural gas use in homes and businesses.

“Gas public utilities must assess existing pipeline capacity and plan for a gradual reduction in system use,” according to a plan released Monday by Governor Phil Murphy. Gas usage in New Jersey will be cut by at least 80% by 2050 through shifting to electric heat and plugging leaks or replacing older pipelines.

It’s one part of a broad effort to stem the worst impacts of climate change, as states grapple with ways to shift away from a fuel -- natural gas -- that’s been a key driver of the shift away from coal to cleaner energy sources. Some California cities have banned new gas connections to homes, and utilities in New York have withheld service because of concerns about shortages of the fuel.

“In breaking from our fossil fuel habit, New Jersey will lead,” Murphy said in a speech at Stockton University. He signed an executive order that will also require state agencies to consider the impacts of climate change in permit approvals for construction projects.

--With assistance from Elise Young.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Ryan at jryan173@bloomberg.net, Reg Gale, Christine Buurma

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