PSEG CEO Discusses Their Role in Combating Climate Change

Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President & CEO, PSEG, joins Steve Adubato to share why PSEG is getting out of the coal business, how the energy industry can play a role in combating climate change and how New Jersey stacks up to the rest of the country in energy efficiency.

8/31/19 #111






"Welcome to Think Tank. I'm Steve Adubato. We're in fact coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studios. We're pleased to welcome, he's with us once again, Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President, CEO, PSEG. Good to see you Ralph. Good to see you Steve. Let's get right into this. Define where we are with energy efficiency, and while you're doing it, please define energy efficiency. Yeah. So energy efficiency is not rocket science. It just means simple things like changing light bulbs from incandescent... the bulb that we're accustomed to... to LED, which uses a lot less energy but keeps visibility great, changing thermostats so that it's programmed to go to a different set point at night versus the day, so that we use enough electricity and enough gas that we're comfortable, and we can live our life, but not wasting it. Okay, so let's stay on this. By the way, let's put up information so... the website, so people can find out more information. So help us understand this. What are we doing? And you... describe what could be done right. Where are we doing well? Where are we not doing well? And then ultimately what impact is it having? Yeah. Where we're doing well is that we're recognizing the damage that carbon is doing to the global climate. Is that the carbon footprint? That's exactly right. So we're... Is it still too big? It is far too big. Okay. And there's increased scientific evidence that we need to cut back on that. So we're doing a good job of investing in clean technologies like preserving existing nuclear, investing in new solar, investing in new offshore wind, but in particular when you look at the costs associated with those new technologies like solar and wind, you can achieve the same carbon reductions for far less expense by investing in energy efficiency. That's not to say we shouldn't do the solar and wind. It just means that we can... we haven't done enough of the energy efficiency. Ralph, when you mentioned the nuclear piece, you know there are a lot of folks thinking about this. I'm thinking about it as well. "Hey wait a minute. Nukes? I thought it was no nukes. I thought nuclear energy was... is bad." I mean... Right. Deal with that. Yeah. No, we should... I mean so nuclear energy has one major challenge that we have not resolved, which is the disposal of the fuel after it's used. And that's really more of a political problem than it is a scientific engineering problem. That's not an environmental problem? Well if not handled properly, it would be an environmental problem. But there isn't one energy..."