Judge Bars NJ Plan to Add Power Plants

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -

New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities is weighing whether to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that shot down its plan to add more natural gas-fired power plants by having ratepayers subsidize their costs.

U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan ruled Friday that the plan was unconstitutional, siding with a group of electricity delivery companies that objected to the additional costs they would face.

The program is a major part of Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to increase power capacity by offering incentives for firms to build plants in it or nearby. But in the meantime, customers would have to pay more on their electric bills to help finance the new plants.