Highway Expansions Threaten State's Own Climate Goals
Vehicles account for 40.6% of the State’s net greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), making them collectively the highest GHG source in the state. Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 274 on November 10, 2021, mandating as state policy a 50% reduction in GHGs by 2030. This order requires all NJ state agencies to implement these goals, and to develop strategies to meet the 50x30 Goal.
Expanding the Turnpike Extension in Jersey City past our schools, playground, parks, and homes will result in increases in truck and other vehicular traffic, which will increase already elevated rates of asthma, and release toxins into the air and soil as they have in the past.
The NJ Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT) are not only failing to take the action to reduce GHGs as required by state policy, but are undermining it. NJTA’s capital plan calls for spending more than $16 billion on new highway expansion projects on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike with little or no analysis of whether they would increase GHGs; conflict with this State’s climate goals; be cost effective; reduce traffic congestion; or whether the money could be better spent on other transportation projects that would generate more jobs and economic growth without adding toxic pollutants to our already bad air.
Empower NJ Files Petitions Demanding that NJ DOT and Turnpike Authority Take Action
EmpowerNJ has filed legal rule-making petitions with the Turnpike Authority and NJDOT documenting the failure of those agencies to comply with the Governor's Executive Order to reduce carbon emissions,
The petitions also demand
- an immediate halt to the $4.7 billion Turnpike Expansion in Jersey City;
- that the agencies prioritize public transportation, repair projects, safe street projects, bikeways and walkways over highway expansions; and
- the rejection of projects that disproportionately harm already overburdened communities.
In the Press
- This is why climate activists are suing Gov. Murphy | Opinion (nj.com 1-20-22)
- New Jersey environmental groups sue Murphy administration over climate action (Politico Pro 1-20-2022)
- Environmental groups file official protests to block $4.7B Turnpike extension widening (nj.com 5-12-22)
- Environmental coalition files petition to block Hudson County Turnpike expansion (nj.com 5-12-22)
- The $4B plan to choke Hudson County | Editorial (nj.com 6-2-22)