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Wind Power Likely To Get Higher Priority Under Next New Jersey Governor

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) - Things will be changing on a number of fronts when Phil Murphy is sworn in as the next governor of New Jersey in mid-January. Among them, how to approach alternative sources of energy.

The Christie administration has a law in place to encourage the wind energy industry, but hasn't done much beyond that.

Paul Rich with US Wind, a Maryland-based company that holds leases to build off the Atlantic City coast, says they could generate upwards of 1,500 megawatts if they could get their project up and running.

"Gov. Christie did advance the interests and position of New Jersey for offshore wind," Rich told KYW Newsradio. "But they never adopted into statute the offshore wind law that he passed in 2010."

It's thought Murphy will change that.

"He's promised a goal of 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind generation and we, along with other developers, are poised to make that successful," Rich added.

He also believes New Jersey could capture a big chunk of the industry, if they get a move on. Maryland, New York and Massachusetts already have.

Murphy has also promised to return the state to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative agreement covering nine east coast states. Christie pulled out of that deal.

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