Measure Offers Twin Goals of Energy Independence, Economic Growth
TRENTON – Legislation Senator Bob Smith sponsored to promote the purchase of biofuels by state agencies instead of traditional fossil fuels today passed the Senate and was sent to the Governor for his signature to make it law.
“The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has been a much-needed wake-up call that we need to wean our selves off of our addiction to fossil fuels,” said Smith (D-Middlesex). “We have a responsible alternative being produced right here in New Jersey. When the price is right, the state should be investing in biofuels, and spurring the alternative energy solutions that can power our economy into the future.”
Under the Smith measure (S-1413), state agencies, authorities, colleges and universities would be required to purchase biofuels in place of fossil fuels if the cost is the same or less, and if the purchase and use of biofuels is deemed to be reasonable, prudent and cost effective.
According to the US Department of Energy, New Jersey customers currently consume 899 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. New Jersey currently is home to two biodiesel production facilities – including a 50-million gallon plant in Elizabeth which is the northeast’s largest – with two others currently under construction. The Department says the state has a biodiesel production capacity of 224 million gallons.
“Getting the most out of our biodiesel facilities is not only good for promoting energy independence, but good for our economy,” said Smith. “When it comes down to it, this is really a no-brainer.”
The measure passed 37-0.