Legislation Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Daniel Benson and James Kennedy sponsored to explore ways to promote the use of “clean” vehicles in New Jersey was approved 50-18-7 by the full Assembly on Thursday.
The bill (A-3295) would establish the Clean Vehicle Task Force, whose 11 members would evaluate issues related to the promotion, development and use of clean vehicles in New Jersey. The body would submit a report with recommendations to the governor and the legislature within a year of organizing.
“Knowing that vehicle emissions are a major contributor to air pollution it’s critical that we find ways to get more vehicles with lower emissions on the road,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “This task force will help us find ways to protect the environment and advance our goal of slowing climate change. Now that the President has pulled us out of the Paris Accords, it’s all the more crucial that states help lead the way in combating climate change.”
“Consuming millions of barrels of oil per day in America simply isn’t sustainable, regardless of whether you approach it from an environmental perspective or an economic one,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Discovering ways to rely less on oil and more on clean energy should be a priority. This task force can be a major part of that effort. It can help lead New Jersey in the right environmental direction when it comes to adopting and promoting cleaner vehicles.”
“It is clear that the effects of vehicle emissions have a tremendous and visible impact on the environment,” said Kennedy (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “Setting up a task force to explore clean energy options for vehicles is the right step toward fulfilling our obligation to protect the environment for future generations.”
The legislation also clarifies that, as it has since 2009, the Department of Environmental Protection would be required to continue implementing the California Low Emission Vehicle Program and the California zero-emission vehicle requirements.
The measure now awaits final legislative approval from the full Senate.