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"Hope Springs Eternal" - Alexander Pope

Jan. 4, 2019 (Washington, DC) – On Thursday, Jan. 3rd, I was honored and privileged to have been invited and witnessed the passing of the gavel to New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6) as the new Chairman of the House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee, arguably the Committee with one of the broadest jurisdictions. In front of a very large crowd in the Energy & Commerce Committee Room in the Rayburn House Office Building next to the US Capitol, the distinguished former Chairman Henry Waxman from California passed the gavel to Chairman Pallone.

Attending the ceremony and reception were US Senator Cory Booker, NJ Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ, D-1), NJ State Senator Vin Gopal (LD-11), Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (LD-18), Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (LD-11) and a number of Freeholders, Mayors and many constituents from New Jersey.

In his remarks and in a statement issued earlier, Chairman Pallone announced the first three hearings the Committee will hold will be on (1) environmental and economic impacts of climate change, (2) impact of the recent US District Judge’s decision on Affordable Care Act, and (3) the family separation policy.

However, as most of you may know, Congressman Pallone has been a huge supporter and ally of RAGE in the opposition of JCP&L’s Monmouth County transmission line project (“MCRP”). In past Energy Sub-Committee hearings, Congressman Pallone had raised questions about the process by the regional transmission organizations for proposals to build transmission projects as well as the FERC incentives directed by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Chairman Pallone will be very busy as he takes on his new responsibilities. However, in addition to environmentalists and health care advocates, energy activists around the country, including CHARGE, can be a little bit more optimistic about the future as we ring in 2019!

Joining me on the road trip to Washington, DC was Patrick O’Hagan, core member of RAGE and CHARGE.

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