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TRENTON-The timing couldn’t be better — and the controversy more annoying. With fuel costs soaring and raising the operating costs of commercial real estate in the process, the State of New Jersey has approved creation of a $10 million interim program to finance environmentally friendly energy. But the word “interim” suggests the controversy wracking the effort.

Indeed, it’s kind of a short-term compromise to get at least some money in the pipeline for solar, wind and other energy generation efforts. Behind the scenes, the state, a half-dozen gas and electric utilities and advocates for renewal energy have been squabbling for eight months over several issues, including who will administer the fund.

When the utility business was deregulated here 18 months ago, the Board of Public Utilities was charged with creating a renewable energy fund of $128 million a year, to be financed by special charges levied on ratepayers. The state also fears rate increases.

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