Clean Water Action Responds to Governor Murphy's Announcement on Clean Energy and Green Jobs
Newark, NJ: Responding to Governor Phil Murphy’s announcement today on disbursement of the Volkswagen settlement and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funds, and a new Executive Order on clean energy and green jobs, Kim Gaddy, Clean Water Action, NJ Environmental Justice Organizer, released the following statement:
“As a resident of Newark and mother of 3 asthmatic children, we are on the front lines of overlapping health, economic, racial injustice, democratic and climate crises so I'm glad to see Governor Murphy focusing funding and attention on environmental justice, green jobs and climate action today.
The technology to replace diesel trucks with zero emission vehicles is available now and can’t happen fast enough. Gradual, incremental steps just won’t do. The price we pay, every day in my South Ward community is increased asthma attacks, cancers, heart attacks and death which is unacceptable.
All of the relevant government agencies have to make this shift to zero-emissions happen as quickly as possible. All of the vehicles and equipment serving the Newark port and the 22,000 daily truck trips must be electrified for they pass through our neighborhoods causing us harm every day.
This will create decent-paying clean energy jobs building electric vehicles, installing charging infrastructure, and maintaining both. We must ensure that clean, renewable energy powers electrification, not more fossil fuels. We must also ensure local residents are prioritized for these jobs, and communities most impacted by the pollution see reductions first.
Today’s actions are good steps on a long trip we’ve just begun. Polluters continue to unfairly target overburdened communities. In Newark alone, a new frack gas plant and a new sewage plant have been proposed in just the past month. The science dictates we have to do even more faster -- 45% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The state’s budget sets the moral compass for our state critical programs from NJ Transit and the Clean Energy Fund to NJDEP. They cannot remain underfunded and achieve a different and more just outcome.
So, the South Ward Environmental Alliance and Clean Water Action thank Governor Murphy. We look forward to working with the Murphy administration putting the pedal to the metal even further.”
Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. www.cleanwater.org/nj