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AFP: $5 Billion Reasons Lawmakers Must Oppose Biodiesel Mandate

November 25, 2013

AFP: $5 Billion Reasons Lawmakers Must Oppose Biodiesel Mandate

Time for Trenton to Stop Piling on Suffering NJ Ratepayers

BOGOTA, NJ – With news today that New Jersey ratepayers could be facing a $5 billion “rate shock” from utilities, Americans for Prosperity is calling on Trenton lawmakers to oppose a proposed biodiesel mandate that will mean even higher heating oil costs for consumers.

According to NJ Spotlight, utilities including PSE&G and others are seeking $1 billion in recovery costs from recent storms and authorization for $4 billion more to stabilize the grid.

“If the State approves the utilities’ request, ratepayers will be facing significant increases. In a state where taxes are through the roof and residents and businesses endure some of the highest utility rates in the country this would be devastating,” said Mike Proto, communications director for AFP’s New Jersey chapter.

“This has been called a ‘double whammy’, but the reality is ratepayers are facing a triple whammy if the current biodiesel mandate also becomes law,” added Proto.

A bill advancing through the Legislature, the “Bio-based Heating Oil Act”, Bill A3161/S2268, would force oil heat retailers to add a percentage of biodiesel to their mix, a blend called “bioheat”. For oil heat consumers this will lead to even higher costs.

“Biodiesel lobbyists may love this mandate but consumers will hate it. The fact is bioheat is more costly than standard home heating oil in New Jersey. Depending on where you live it could be 20, 30, or 50 cents more per gallon. Consumers should not have to bear the brunt of even higher utility prices because lawmakers in Trenton think they know better than the rest of us.

“The goal of policymakers should be to keep energy prices affordable for consumers, not use energy policy to impose their ‘green’ energy schemes,” Proto continued. “Bioheat retailers should be free to sell their product on the merits, not rely on preferential treatment and handouts from Trenton.”

AFP’s Proto challenged legislators to oppose the mandate.

“How many more hits do legislators in Trenton want our residents and businesses to absorb? For all the talk of cutting taxes and creating jobs in New Jersey, how can any legislator defend making it even more expensive to heat our homes and businesses here?”

“If our representatives in Trenton are serious about looking out for the hard-working middle class and making our state competitive again then they need make a statement by voting against this mandate.”

Americans for Prosperity has previously testified against the biodiesel mandate before the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

AFP is also mobilizing grassroots, citizen-activists to sign the pro-taxpayer group’s action alert letter urging their representatives to oppose the mandate.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP is more than 2 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states.  AFP has 34 state chapters and affiliates. More than 85,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office.

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