Six months ago Westfield was dealing with the struggles associated with Sandy’s aftermath. While the destruction from this Superstorm was devastating for some, all of Westfield was impacted in one way or another. Schools and many business were forced to close, gasoline was difficult to find and a great many of us sat without power for days.
With its Energy Strong plan, PSE&G – our electric distribution company – wants to upgrade its systems to protect against storms like Sandy. Yet some consumer lobbying groups are against the plan. It surprises me just how quickly certain people have forgotten how much harm Sandy, not to mention Hurricane Irene and the freak October 2011 snow storm the year before, caused us all.
PSE&G says it can make the upgrades it needs – strengthening wires, installing smart elements and raise substations to protect flooding – without raising our bills. It also promises that in 10 years when the program is done, we’ll be paying less than we do now. It also says the projects to upgrade its aging electric and gas systems will create opportunities for New Jersey businesses and create almost 6,000 new jobs. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
It's encouraging that the utility is stepping up to do the kind of work that will protect us New Jersey residents against future storms and Hurricanes. PSE&G submitted its proposal to the Board of Public Utilities last month. I hope the BPU moves quickly to review the company’s plans carefully and quickly. Oversight is always a good idea, but unnecessary delays seem, well, unnecessary. Storm season will be here before you know it.
Thank you for your consideration,
John D. Luerssen