Signed by more than 100 New Jersey health professionals, a letter sent today to Gov. Phil Murphy, administration officials, and legislators by Clinicians for Climate Action New Jersey (CCANJ) urges full adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) rule before the end of 2023 to protect public health and advance the state’s clean energy economy.
“We must act now and advance to zero-emission vehicles,” said Felicia K. Taylor, CEO, New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (NJAAP). “Further delays will negatively impact the health of New Jersey residents, especially those living in underserved areas.”
The transportation sector is a leading source of air pollution and climate emissions in New Jersey. More than 70% of climate pollution comes from passenger cars and trucks. The ACC II rule is New Jersey’s strongest tool for mitigating these climate emissions and protecting all residents.
“We are proud to support measures to improve the air quality in New Jersey for the health of our patients, our neighbors, and future generations,” said Shannon Eccles, DO, CCANJ member and chair of NJAAP’s Committee on Environmental Health and Climate Change.
In addition to Murphy, the letter was sent to Chief Policy Advisor Dennis Zeveloff, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Climate Action Jane Cohen, administration officials, and legislative leaders.
Gov. Murphy announced a series of new and accelerated targets and commitments to build on the administration’s nation-leading climate action record in the recent budget. It also includes new grant funding for heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs) and ensuring 100% of new cars sold in 2035 are zero-emission vehicles.
Recent research by Energy Innovation shows that ACC II will save U.S. households hundreds of dollars annually, with drastically higher consumer savings in states that adopt the rule, which would be up to $682 annually in New Jersey.
“Clean cars and trucks will make a huge difference in the air quality around our most vulnerable communities where many of these thoroughfares run and for whom breathing cleaner air is so critically important,” said Catherine Chen, MD, FACP, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
In its 2022 annual “State of the Air” report, the American Lung Association found that New Jersey is home to 757,828 adults and children living with asthma that need stronger protection against harmful pollutants. The report also noted that a person of color in the U.S. is 61% more likely to live in a community with a failing air pollution grade and over three times more likely to live in a community with the worst air quality.