ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Three area legislators have introduced a bill that, if made law, would force the State of New Jersey to increase the fuel efficiency of its motor vehicle fleet.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Christopher Connors and Assemblymen Brian Rumpf and Daniel Van Pelt, all R-Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic, would require the state Department of Treasury, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Transportation to work together to calculate the miles per gallon average for the state’s entire motor vehicle fleet, according to www.pressofatlanticcity.com.
This would include all diesel and gasoline vehicles, with the exception of those used for law enforcement purposes.
Van Pelt said the law would establish a series of benchmarks for those agencies to follow during the next several years. By 2010, for example, it would call for a certain percentage of the state’s fleet to be environmentally friendly and for those agencies to work out a plan to make that happen.
Rumpf, the ranking republican member of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works, and Independent Authorities Committee, said the current record-setting fuel prices demand the state reduce the amount of fuel consumed by its 15,500-vehicle fleet.
Erin Phalon, a spokeswoman for the DOT, said the department already has spent the last few years, at least, focusing on making its vehicles more fuel efficient. This includes the addition of hybrid vehicles as well as smaller and generally more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The Assembly version of the bill, A-2976, is assigned to the Assembly State Government Committee, while the companion measure in the Senate, S-2117, is still waiting to be assigned to a committee. Van Pelt hopes both measure will be heard when the state legislature is back in session in the fall.