Do you know who sits on your state’s Public Utilities Commission? (Here’s PA). I still don’t know much about mine, but I have at least figured out they have quite a bit to say about whether my state will take any useful, expedient climate action.
Here is this week’s climate action story.
I decided it would be a service to find out what every elected official is doing about climate change (not just what they are saying). I might write every one of them or call them to find out. Maybe I will visit! In order to do that, I needed to find out who they are. There is so much government I am sure you do not know all the people who are leading the action or lack of action on climate change right now.
I began making a doc which I will eventually share with you (and maybe work on with you!) that lists all the officials, links to their sites and gives a blurb about what climate action they have taken or intend to take. I used the zip codes of each of Circle of Hope’s meeting places, which probably covers where you live if you are local. If you aren’t, this doc making would be a fun project for you and your elementary school kids, right? It is their future burning right now, after all.
I brought up Governor Murphy’s info in New Jersey and noticed he had appointed members to the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy in 2021. I have to admit, I was rather unaware of the vast unelected government that either runs things or not. My elected officials are supposed to be leading them, but I have to wonder. This particular Council falls under the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. That’s a new office in the Governor’s Office (not housed in one of the 16 NJ departments). The council is tasked with streamlining climate initiatives currently being pursued by various state agencies and leading New Jersey’s collaboration with federal agencies on climate issues. God bless you.
If you want to talk to someone about climate action in New Jersey, the members of the Council might be a good place to start
Jane Cohen is the Executive Director of the new office under which the Council falls. She used to be at Murphy’s right hand as an advisor on climate change. Shawn Latourette is the acting commissioner of the NJ EPA; he’s on it too. Then there is my man, Joseph Fiordaliso, president of the Board of Public Utilities. He has been a Commissioner since 2006 (Remember Governor Codey, who nominated him? Neither do I). Here is his 2021 report to the NJ Assembly. As you can see, I got fascinated by the board of Public Utilities. They make a difference.
The NJ Board of Public Utilities is made up of five commissioners. Here are their bios. Commissioner Diane Solomon is one of them. She used to be Commissioner of the South Jersey Transportation authority and is married to one of the New Jersey Supreme Court justices. She, in particular, caused me to imagine the parties these folks go to, during which they are approached by other powerful people to do these powerful jobs.
It took me hours to get a small feel for the government of New Jersey. It is big, and Joseph and Diane have a lot to say about whether Governor Murphy’s initiatives result in much action and how fast we can see something happen. I wrote to the assistants of these two commissioners . One did not have info listed but a Facebook group did! Here is what I asked: “What is the most important thing the BPU and you personally are doing in the effort to keep warming at 1.5 degrees or less?” We’ll see what they reply.