New Jersey has become the latest blue state to announce that it will ban the sale of all new vehicles that are powered by gas by 2035.
Officials in the Garden State said during the announcement on Tuesday said the initiative is being undertaken to improve the quality of air in the state and also reduce the amount of pollutants that lead to the planet warming from the atmosphere.
As of January 1, a new state rule will go into effect that will commit New Jersey to its move toward having vehicles that have zero emissions. That was announced as part of a larger news release that was issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Coltura, which is a non-profit organization based in Seattle that advocates for all gas-powered vehicles to be done away with, said that New Jersey will join other blue states such as Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, New York, Vermont and California in passing such an initiative.
Beginning in 2027, New Jersey will start limiting how many new gas-powered vehicles can be sold in the Garden State. The initiative says that all of these such vehicles have to be removed by 2035.
The DEP did clarify that the new initiative doesn’t mean that residents of New Jersey will be prohibited from owning or using a vehicle that’s powered by gas. It also doesn’t force anyone to purchase an electric vehicle.
Two ways that residents of the Garden State can still own a gas-powered vehicle, for instance, is to purchase a used car – which won’t be banned under this new initiative – and to purchase a new gas-powered vehicle in another state.
New Jersey won’t ban the latter practice, either, though the state will be putting new heightened emissions standards in place for those vehicles.
As part of the announcement about the new initiative, New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy said:
“The steps we take today to lower emissions will improve air quality and mitigate climate impacts for generations to come, all while increasing access to cleaner car choices.”
And the commissioner of the state EPA, Shawn LaTourette, siad:
“Cleaner cars and trucks mean cleaner air for our children and families, because the tailpipes of our own vehicles are a leading cause of poor local air quality. As New Jersey transitions to a zero-emission vehicle future, we will improve our quality of life and public health.
“At the same time, we will reduce climate pollutants from the transportation sector, the greatest source of planet-warming pollution in New Jersey and the nation.”
Business groups have been strongly opposed to this rule since rumors that New Jersey was considering implementing it began swirling around earlier in 2023.
Ray Canton, one of the top officials with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said that more than 100 companies, labor groups and other organizations have sent almost 10,000 letters to some state lawmakers “asking them to step in to stop a proposed DEP rule that will ultimately mandate what type of car residents can drive, and in some cases, if they can afford to drive.”