Doherty says solar focus weakening power companies’ basic delivery mission

When Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-33) conducts hearings on what went wrong with the power companies’ response to Hurricane Sandy, Stack should fess up and blame himself, says Sen. Mike Doherty (R-23).

Doherty said Stack supported S1925, which in part shifts the state’s solar goals from a fixed megawatt hour requirement to a percentage based requirement.

“What it did was accelerate the amount of green energy the energy companies had to purchase,” Doherty said of the bill. “I had the head of the BPU in my office and based on what he told me it’s my understanding that hundreds of millions of dollars per year will be going to put up these solar panels and to build solar fields. What is the priority? Reliable energy delivery, or diverting focus and putting up these solar panels?”

Stack and other supporters of the solar energy bill need to look at their policies, he said.

“He’s partially responsible for that,” Doherty said. “I don’t think these solar panels are doing anything for us right now. When Senator Stack has his hearings I plan to testify and express my concerns. New Jersey is Number 2 in the country after California for the number of solar panels that have been installed. It’s time to consider whether these policies are good for New Jersey.”

Doherty said he’s not going to defend the power companies.

“People out there are upset over the lack of accountability,” he said. “The lights never went out the way they’re going out now. The electrical power system is unreliable. We’re supposed to be best country in the world, and we really need to look at why is this is happening. The solar projects are coming with a cost. There are retired folks paying for solar panels with their social security checks and they’re sitting in the dark tonight. Meanwhile, well-heeled residents of New Jersey are installing solar panels.”

"I’m an undertaker by trade, so when I bury somebody, they don’t come back."
—Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato