Murphy’s gas car ban ‘is not happening,’ says top NJ lawmaker
⛽ Gov. Phil Murphy wants to ban all new gas powered vehicles by 2035
⛽ The Senate Budget Committee Chairman says that 'is not happening'
⛽ But will the legislature intervene?
When Gov. Phil Murphy proposed a ban on the sale of new gas powered vehicles by 2035, many questioned how that was going to happen.
The powerful chairman of the Senate Budget Committee says its not.
I am sure someone in the DEP thought this was a great idea to get a great headline, but its not practical.
Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, told business leaders gathered in Edison on Tuesday that investment in green energy is good for New Jersey and good for the climate.
"However," Sarlo said, "Lets be practical about it. 2035 is not happening."
Sarlo is among those who question whether New Jersey's electrical grid could even handle the demand of so many electric powered vehicles and insisted that even before such a ban could be considered, significant investment from the federal government would be needed.
In addition, Sarlo says auto makers couldn't even meet the demand the governor's plan would create and there aren't enough charging stations if they could.
"I am sure someone in the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) thought this was a great idea to get a great headline," Sarlo said, "But its not practical."
Under Murphy's plan, called "Advanced Clean Cars II," all new car sales will have to be electric vehicles by 2035.
Ahead of that deadline, the clean cars initiative sets some bold benchmarks, including:
🚗 New light duty cars sold in 2026 (2027 model year) must meet zero emission requirements
🚗 At least 51% of all new cars sales must be electric vehicles by 2027 (2028 model year)
A panel of legislative leaders gathered by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association questioned if even the interim goals could be achieved.
On a recent New Jersey 101.5 Town Hall broadcast, Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey hailed the aggressive timeline laid out by the Murphy administration, but also conceded there are challenges to delivering the power needed to meet them.
"We should be making down payments on grid to ensure we can move forward on electrification," O'Malley said.
As a more practical matter, consumers are just not buying electric vehicles.
Jim Appleton, president of the state Coalition of Automotive Retailers told New Jersey 101.5, "Governments can mandate and auto manufacturers can build, but none of these goals will be met if consumers don’t buy the vehicles."
Will the legislature block Advanced Clean Cars II?
The legislature could move to block Murphy's regulations, but any legislation doing so would have to be signed by the governor to take effect.
NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka pressed Sarlo to commit to intervene with legislation, but he stopped short of saying lawmakers would do so.
Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Neptune) is also among Democrats who believe Murphy was moving too fast. Gopal expressed concern on our Town Hall about the impact of the governor's clean energy agenda and the potential impact to residents in the form of even higher energy bills.
He did not rule out legislation to slow things down, but stopped short of saying he would propose such legislation.
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