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A bipartisan coalition of hundreds of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware union workers, business leaders, community advocates, energy producers and local and state elected officials rallied at the Statehouse in Trenton calling on the Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies to change course on policies that will ban most new gas cars and impose electric vehicle mandates.

NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka served as emcee for the event. The crowd, which included Trenton lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle, spoke directly to the EPA and regulators with a rallying cry: “Save Our Jobs! Don’t Ban Our Cars!”

Rally footage, photos and b-roll are available, with speaker quotes (time-stamped) and a list of participants below:

Mid-Atlantic Rally Speaker Highlights

Tuesday’s rally included the following speakers (with quotes), attendees and event supporters:

  • Members of the International Oil Workers (IOW), New Jersey UA Pipe Trades, S. Steelworkers Local 4/898 (DE), UA Local 322 (NJ) and AFL-CIO Local 74 (DE).
  • Employees of PBF Paulsboro Refinery and Delaware City Refinery, Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery and Monroe Energy.
  • Michele Siekerka, New Jersey Business & Industry Association: “This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. Rather, it’s about jobs and giving Americans the freedom to choose the kind of car that they choose to drive.”
  • Jim Appleton, New Jersey Car: “Starting next year automakers will be restricted in the number of combustion vehicle engines that they can send into the State of New Jersey, and they’ll be forced to send New Jersey dealers and increasing number of electric vehicles… If the state can’t afford to follow the [California] rules, which appears to be the case at this point, then the administration should acknowledge its mandates are unrealistic and walk away.”
  • NJ State Senator John Burzichelli: “So, the key is very simple: [Senate Bill] 2252 should be adopted. We need clarity of policy. It does not make sense to impose this mandate. You heard all the reasons why; they’re all legitimate. And by the way, electric vehicles do not mean that the petroleum industry has to go away. We can’t do this with one sector dominating energy—it’s not going to work… We’ve got to be smart. Raise your voices, talk to your assembly people, talk to your senators in a rational, straightforward, and factual way. We will win this on the merits.”
  • Kate Gibbs, Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative (Elec825): “These mandates put the only constitutionally dedicated revenue to support our transportation trust fund in severe jeopardy. Without that dedicated funding, that is responsible for statewide transportation improvements but also hundreds of millions of dollars a year in local aid, it means that either our roads and bridges will crumble and not be maintained, or we’ll have to make up those funds with local property taxes—something we know New Jerseyans can’t bear.”
  • NJ Senator Latham Tiver: “A ban on gas cars is widely out of step with what most Americans want. The people have spoken, and they demand choice. They demand energy diversity. It’s time to stand up for what the consumer wants.”
  • NJ Senator Carmen Amato: “With an EV mandate, there will be too many unknowns for low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans, for seniors—many in my district, and also young people and families struggling to make ends meet… Solutions being offered to those folks are programs to promote EV buses, rideshare alternatives or even bicycle ownership. For many residents… these are not realistic solutions.”
  • Paulsboro, NJ, Mayor John Giovannitti: “As the Mayor of Paulsboro, I support the refinery and I don’t support these regulations. And neither does the town, but we will do everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
  • Paulsboro, NJ Councilmember Ted Holloway: “The mandate itself, I definitely think, is bogus. If 75% of us are standing against it, like my mayor said, it should be a win-win for us. We’re going to stand side by side with our Senator, again former mayor, and the rest of the legislators, bipartisan and all, just to make sure that this does not happen to make the people of New Jersey, and also the people of America, suffer.” –
  • Linden, NJ, Mayor Derek Armstead: “It’s time we stand up to government and tell them we don’t need them to be our parents and take our choices away… Instead of banning gas vehicles, we should incentivize hybrid vehicles, invest in cleaner fuels and improve gasoline engine efficiency. A balanced approach is crucial to avoid disproportionately harming working families.”
  • New Castle County, DE, Councilman Tim Sheldon: “This hurts workforce development.”
  • NJ Assemblyman Christian Barranco: “I’m also incredibly proud of the fact that here we are at a rally with bipartisan support. That’s a big deal, folks, in this town, I promise you… Mandating what we can and cannot buy in the automotive market is nothing any government should be partaking in… It’s just not an American idea.”
  • NJ Assemblyman Cody Miller: “I think about people in the 4th legislative district that are on a fixed income. This EV mandate, what it will do, is it will be cost prohibitive for middle- and working-class families… I think you’ll see here that you have a bipartisan coalition of legislators because we know the impact that this will have on middle- and working-class New Jersey families.”
  • NJ Assemblyman Dan Hutchison: “Last year, gas cars accounted for 84% of vehicle sales, and I strongly believe that our country is simply not at a point where we can roll out an EV mandate that is as widespread as the one put forth as EPA… I am proud to be here to raise concerns.”
  • Carl Marrara, Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association (PMA): “Why are we allowing a technocratic bureaucracy that regularly leaves its own state in a series of brown outs to dictate policy for a whole nation? California has proven it cant govern, but yet the EPA and other states want to model their foolish ideas? It just doesn’t make sense. Any policy mandating electric vehicle adoption and cutting off consumer access to new gas-powered cars jeopardizes U.S. energy security to China’s advantage.”
  • Chet Thompson, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM): “When refineries go away, they don’t come back. We have to remember that… Bans like this are bad for consumers. They raise prices of automobiles, they put new cars out of reach for working mothers and families… We need to trust consumers. How unamerican is it for bureaucrats in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to tell people what kinds of cars they can drive? People should be able to pick cars that meet their budget and family needs.”
  • NJ Assemblyman Greg Myhre: “[Electric vehicles] should have to pass the free market test. And if they’re good for you, make your free choice to go out and buy one. If it makes sense for you to drive a gas car… go out and buy one. Your needs are yours alone and should not be up to the whims of bureaucrats in Trenton.”
  • Eric DeGesero, Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey: “The last time the NJ Legislature voted on an EV mandate, it voted to repeal the NJDEP’s authority to implement one. Governor Murphy, in direct contravention, is mandating EVs anyway. This is why we applaud Senator Burzichelli’ s introduction of Senate Bill 2252 and urge the Legislature’s swift adoption.”
  • Mike Sommers, American Petroleum Institute (API): “Americans want solutions, not government mandates from Washington or California. Despite increased costs, lack of charging infrastructure and risks to our national security, the Biden administration and local politicians are moving to implement a de facto ban on new gas-powered cars and trucks. Americans deserve the freedom to drive whatever vehicle fits their needs and budget. It’s time our elected leaders pursue policies that actually work for the American people and secure our country’s energy advantage.”
  • Greenwich Township, NJ, Mayor Vince Giovannitti: “Can these regulations be implemented at a reasonable pace? Enforcing an effective ban on gasoline vehicles and restricting consumer choice to electric vehicles is not the way to achieve this goal. Please reconsider the timeline and carefully assess how these regulations will negatively impact Greenwich Township and other townships across our great country.”
  • Mike Butler, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA): “The push by elected officials toward mandates or target EV sales goals by a certain date often fails to take into account many of the real-world economic, social, and practical problems created by these sorts of regulations. Families and businesses deserve the right to choose whatever vehicle best meets their needs. No government official knows better than a working parent or business owner what is right for them.”
  • New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce (NJ) and Commerce & Industry Association of NJ (CIANJ).
Issue Background 
  • Why people are rallying: The federal government is taking vehicle choice away from American consumers. The EPA is moving forward with two regulations that are part of a bigger agenda to ban most new gas and diesel cars and trucks, and the time for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware residents to engage is now.
    • EPA’s passenger vehicle standards: This spring, EPA finalized tailpipe emissions standards for passenger cars and trucks that are so stringent automakers will have to phase out production of most new gas-powered vehicles in less than eight years. Our members of Congress in Washington, D.C. will have a chance to overturn this de facto ban in the coming months using the Congressional Review Act.
    • EPA’s pending authorization of the California waiver: California’s ban on sales of new gas, diesel and traditional hybrid vehicles requires EPA approval. If EPA authorizes the ban, it’s going to become law in more than a dozen states—including New Jersey and Delaware. This California mandate was adopted without oversight or approval from either state’s legislature, and it will phase in beginning in 2027 unless residents and lawmakers push back.
  • Every American will be impacted by gas car bans and EV mandates. 
    • More than 90% of American households have at least one car, so policies limiting our ability to purchase the car or truck of our choosing are going to have far-reaching impacts.
    • 75 percent of Americans oppose policies aimed at banning new gas, diesel and traditional hybrid vehicles.
    • With the supply of gas cars being restricted by federal and state policies, vehicle prices are likely to increase, pushing cars out of reach for many families. Consumers will also pay for this policy through their taxes and electricity bills.
  • Gas car bans and EV mandates threaten energy security. 
    • China dominates the global supply chain for EVs, batteries and minerals. Any policy mandating electric vehicle adoption and cutting off consumer access to new gas cars jeopardizes U.S. energy security to China’s advantage.
  • There’s more than one way to push for cleaner transportation. 
    • We all want cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks. And we can get there—faster, more affordably and strategically—if the government allows all vehicles to compete, on a lifecycle basis. Bans and mandates aren’t right for Mid-Atlantic workers or consumers.