New Jersey joined with Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia in declaring their commitment Thursday to develop an action plan that will put hundreds of thousands more zero-emission trucks and buses onto their roads.
Mary Barber, director of regulatory and legislative affairs of the Environmental Defense Fund, told NJBIZ that this action plan is specific to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and it is building on an earlier action plan that multiple states including California have implemented.
“The state has a process underway and the process has recently ended,” Barber told NJBIZ.”
“The announcement, combined with the state’s priorities, begins to really come together to launch New Jersey toward zero-emission vehicles in the medium- and heavy-duty space.”
The scoping document of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the administration’s priorities “for where they are proposing the auction funding proceeds should go to,” Barber said. “From our perspective, we are are very excited.”
New Jersey has rejoined the RGGI. Initiative number one is the Carbon Dioxide Budget Trading rule that establishes the mechanisms for rejoining RGGI and sets the initial carbon-dioxide cap for the state’s electricity generation sector at 18 million tons in 2020. Another initiative is the Global Warming Solutions Fund rule that establishes the framework for how the Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will implement a system to spend proceeds from RGGI carbon-dioxide allowance auctions, with an emphasis on projects that will benefit environmental justice in certain communities.
“I think this action plan is building on other action plans,” Barber said. “Emissions are a major contributor to greenhouse gases.”