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Analysis

DEP Advanced Clean Car II Rule Runs Into Strong Headwinds

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By Vince Conti

New Jersey is the most recent state to commit to the phaseout of the sale of new gasoline-powered cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. The Advanced Clean Car II rule from the state Department of Environmental Protection will require all new cars sold in the state to have zero emissions by 2035. The standards were first promulgated by California in 2022.

The rule sets an annually increasing percentage of new cars available for sale in the Garden State that must have zero emissions, starting with model year 2027. The rule will be published in the Dec. 18 edition of the New Jersey Register.

The New Jersey Commission of Automotive Retailers and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, among other business groups, have come out in opposition to the move, with the latter organization saying that the expedited time frame contained in the rule “flies in the face of calls to make New Jersey more affordable.” The Commission of Automotive Retailers calls the DEP action an “extreme government mandate” that will “make new cars unaffordable for working and middle-class families in New Jersey.”

The rule has strong support among environmental groups. New Jersey Sierra Club Director Anjuli Ramos-Busot testified earlier this year, “We need cleaner cars in our communities and on our streets now. Advanced Clean Cars II is a life-saving program that will clean our air so that our children can breathe easier, mitigate emissions from our state’s dirtiest sector and kick-start a new green economy for New Jersey.”

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont and the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection withdrew proposed clean car regulations that would have aligned the state with the California initiative. State Republicans praised the Democratic governor’s “prudent move” in pulling back the rule. Lamont withdrew the rule in the face of widespread bipartisan pushback.

Delaware adopted the Advanced Clean Car II program with a modification, moving from the initial proposal of 100% to a new target of 82% of new cars and trucks sent to the state for sale be zero-emission by 2032.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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