TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Phil Murphy has fast-tracked rules that will ban sales of new gas and diesel passenger vehicles in 12 years, enforced by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Consumers will be forced to buy electric or shop out of state for traditional fuel-powered vehicles, possibly leading to the decimation of new car dealerships in New Jersey. It is widely reported that motor vehicle companies already lose tens of thousands of dollars on each electric vehicle sold, even with the average starting price around $64,000. Currently, less than 10% of New Jersey’s 2.5 million registered vehicles are EVs, even with generous government incentives and tax credits.
But Assemblywoman Bethanne McCarthy Patrick worries the “Net-Zero” drive will leave behind the middle- and working-classes and wreak havoc on entire industries while once again undermining not only consumer choices, but the democratic process.
“We have unelected bureaucrats shoving the governor’s rules down our throats,” McCarthy Patrick (R-Salem) said. “You know, the people who can either afford these vehicles or dream up more rules to exempt themselves from what the rest of us have to deal with. The government needs to stop forcing people to buy things. Let the market do what the market does.”
In July, Murphy filed his Advanced Clean Cars II proposal that will require vehicle manufacturers to sell only zero emission new light-duty vehicles by 2035. The requirements mirror those made by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, despite the Golden State’s well publicized antiquated power grid, rolling blackouts and orders to forego air conditioning and charging electric vehicles during even off-peak hours.
McCarthy Patrick pointed to the reality that New Jersey’s power grid, like California’s, cannot support electrification goals by 2035. Despite that, New Jersey will join 13 other states — New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington State, Oregon — in proposing California’s ACCII rules. Those rules were published Aug. 21. The NJDEP is taking public comment through October.
“There’s nothing wrong with taking ideas from other states and trying them out here,” McCarthy Patrick added. “I just think they should be good ideas. They should be good for our constituents. I guess Murphy and Newsom think unaffordable electricity and vehicles, and lost jobs are good ideas. Maybe bad policies are the real crisis.”