Update: Christie Signs NJ Power Plant Bill
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law last Friday the controversial power plant bill (S-2381) that, among other things, is aimed to lower energy rates by increasing the energy generated in-state and create construction jobs.
The new law enables LS Power Systems to build a power plant in West Deptford, NJ, and provides an incentive for companies such as Competitive Power Ventures to build at least three additional plants in the state, with long-term, ratepayer subsidized energy contracts. Proponents of the bill believe that the long term capacity agreements (LCAPP) will reduce the cost of energy for ratepayers, thereby reducing the state’s reliance on out-of-sate generation and will create jobs in the construction and energy industries.
Opposition to the bill remains strong. Critics say that it locks ratepayers into 15 years of subsidies for some power suppliers and that the new bill does not guarantee lower tax rates for the public.
We will continue to monitor the controversial law, and report on its effectiveness.
$261 million tax reimbursement for Revel casino
Governor Chris Christie announced on February 1 that the half-finished Revel Casino project can resume construction, beginning as early as next week. Through the Economic Development Authority, and the Atlantic City Rescue Package, Christie has authorized the state to provide $261 million to the casino. With this agreement, Revel will share 20 percent of its profits (up to $261 million) with the state and the state will hold a minority ownership in the casino. Revel lined up an additional $1.5 billion in private financing needed to complete the project. Christie’s administration cited the prospect of thousands of jobs and billions in future tax revenue as an incentive to back the project.
The project is on schedule to be completed in June 2012 and will create about 2,000 construction jobs. When fully operational, Revel will employ 5,500 people. Additionally, the casino plans to build 1,100 hotel rooms, as opposed to the 1,800 rooms originally planned.
Christie commented on the renewed project by saying that, “This is a landmark day for Atlantic City, and the beginning of its transformation”.