For Immediate Release: June 3, 2019
Contact: Norah Langweiler, NJ Work Environment Council, 908-303-4546 ext. 302
Murphy Administration Gives Green Lights for VW Settlement & EV Partnership
Trenton – The following is a statement from Norah Langweiler, Jersey Renews campaign organizer. “The announcements today from Governor Murphy and NJDEP are important steps forward in the electrification of our transportation system. The Volkswagen settlement money will be put to good use converting heavy-duty diesel vehicles to electric, specifically targeting environmental justice communities.
The Volkswagen settlement provides New Jersey with the perfect opportunity to fund projects that will cut carbon pollution by electrifying our cars, trucks and buses. We all deserve clean air and a stable climate, and we’re glad that NJDEP is making the most of the VW settlement money and accelerating electrification. Big winners include Jersey City, which will receive 5 electric garbage trucks to help reduce the diesel pollution in our urban neighborhoods, and contributing excessively to global warming, and Trenton will receive 5 electric school bus to jump-start investments in eliminating diesel fumes from impacting our children’s lungs.
Transitioning public and private fleets to electric is essential to reducing emissions, and it is great news that New Jersey put a hefty thumb on the scale in favor of full electrification, including at the Port Authority. We supported fully putting this funding to use in the public transportation sector because with limited dollars, it would be more likely to achieve a goal of health and environmental equity. The strategy adopted by NJDEP was focused on a Noah’s Ark strategy of electrifying a full range of heavy-duty diesel vehicles and trucks – we hope that further rounds focus investment on publicly owned diesel vehicles.
On the heels of the VW settlement awardees, the Governor announced a partnership between NJDEP, BPU, and the EDA to develop a statewide network of electric vehicle infrastructure. While concrete details on the new task force are limited, we are hopeful that this move will bolster support for the electric vehicle bill currently stalled in the Assembly. A4819/S2252 offers a framework that can bring Gov. Murphy’s ambitions to life. These dual announcements provide momentum to address the roadblocks to electric vehicles by addressing the need to electrify our transportation sectors, provide an essential charging network across the state and make electric vehicles more affordable.”
Jersey Renews is a broad-based coalition of over 60 labor, faith, community, environmental and business organizations pushing to make New Jersey a leader in climate policy. www.jerseyrenews.org