Arguments against congestion tax sound similar to arguments against electrification mandates

DeGesero (fuel merchants), Maloney (pipe trades) say governor is being hypocritical when he lists concerns about costs and fast-tracking of policy

Eric DeGesero couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

DeGesero, who represents the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Propane Gas Association, was stunned to hear Gov. Phil Murphy – appearing on a TV news program – complaining about a fast-track policy without enough review and ‘sticker shock’ around the potential cost as a reason to oppose congestion pricing in New York City.

DeGesero has been making the same arguments in his fight against a seemingly fast-track plan of electrification of the state at the expense of natural gas.

“Gov. Murphy complaining about a ‘short circuited process’ that will cost commuters $5,000 a year giving him ‘sticker shock’ is the height of hypocrisy,” he said. “This is coming from a governor who is taking our gas stoves and furnaces — without following the constitutional process for enacting a law and which will cost homeowners tens of thousands of dollars and renters, businesses and taxpayers millions.”

Mike Maloney, speaking on behalf of the New Jersey State Association of Pipe Trades, couldn’t believe it either.

Maloney is worried about the impact of a building electrification mandate — which could be approved by the N.J. Board of Public Utilities as soon as Wednesday.

“Whether it’s mandating electric cars or electrifying their homes, middle-class New Jersey families cannot afford these extreme policies,” he said. “The Legislature needs to step in and stop this expensive mandate that will burden every New Jersey homeowner, business, and renter.”

DeGesero and Maloney say the BPU is set to fast-track the governor’s mandated electrification policy even though the director of Division of Rate Counsel agrees the BPU has no such authority to regulate carbon emissions.

DeGesero is hopeful that someone will step up and call out the plan for what he feels it is.

“There are some who will say ‘this is not a mandate,’ to that we would ask, ‘What else do you call forced building electrification?’” he said.

“New Jersey legislators need to stop this outrageously expensive electrification plan that, as Gov. Murphy would say, ‘short-circuits’ the legislative process.”