TRENTON, N.J. – Taxpayers can’t afford to play politics, says Assemblyman Hal Wirths following Tuesday’s Big Oil lawsuit announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration. Officials from the attorney general’s office, DEP and consumer affairs are suing five oil and gas companies and a trade group for contributing to the effects of climate change in the state.
“The Murphy administration is suing these companies at the expense of the taxpayer who is already struggling with record-high inflation and rising prices at the gas pump,” Wirths (R-Sussex) said. “Murphy is greasing up his base before election season despite the costly impact to the rest of us.”
The average price for regular gasoline in New Jersey is $3.69, up 10 cents from a month ago, according to AAA. Analysts expect the prices to continue to rise because of Hurricane Ian supply chain disruptions and increasing demand.
“If Democrats were serious about affordability, like they claim, they would look at ways to become energy independent,” Wirths said. “But today’s catchphrase is climate change and it is going to cost taxpayers a pretty penny to fund the Democrats’ political agenda.”
As part of the Murphy administration’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050, the governor wants to have 330,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025. According to the state DEP, New Jersey had 80,583 EVs registered in June 2022.
“Murphy’s EV push is lining the pockets of Chinese communists while making New Jersey even more unaffordable,” Wirths added.
Chinese-owned Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., better known as CATL, is the largest global seller of batteries for electric and hybrid cars. It saw a 115.6 percent increase in sales this year.
“If Murphy continues on this path, he is going to drive gas stations out of business and families out of Jersey – that’s if our EV can reliably get us across state lines before we need to replace the bad-for-the-environment battery,” Wirths said.