New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie (R) said Tuesday he would push for legislation to give local governments the authority to purchase gas from state-run natural gas producers, after the state shut down four large natural gas pipelines on the state’s Atlantic coast.
The governor’s move comes after Gov.
Tom Wolf (R), a Democrat, signed an executive order to allow local authorities to purchase natural gas from those producers.
Christie, who has been outspoken about the need to boost energy production in his state, said the legislation would give local officials more flexibility to make decisions about how to use the natural gas.
“The governor wants to provide the state with more flexibility and allow us to be more responsive to the needs of our communities,” said Christie spokesman Nick Merrill.
“We will continue to work with the governors office to ensure we can have the flexibility to best meet our energy needs.”
The state has a long history of natural gas use.
It purchased more than 2.7 million barrels of gas from New York state in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
But natural gas is now a more competitive energy commodity, with prices rising.
Gas prices have also been rising in other parts of the country, particularly California.
The governors office is currently reviewing Christie’s executive order, which the governor signed earlier this month.
It is unclear if the governor will continue pushing for the legislation after he signs it.
The announcement comes as Hurricane Irene made landfall in New Jersey.
It’s the second storm to make landfall in the state this year.
The governor and his administration have been criticized for not responding quickly enough to the storm, which killed more than 200 people.
Christie is scheduled to speak to the New Jersey Bar Association on Wednesday, when he is expected to take on a bill to expand emergency services.