Skip to Content
Morning Spew

Thursday’s Blazing Sun Beats Down on the Cynical Brow of New Jersey’s Governor

NJ Governor Phil Murphy continues to fight congestion pricing, Mayor Eric Adams thinks asylum seekers are an "assault" on the city, and more.

5:46 AM EDT on October 6, 2022

Gridlock in Midtown

The future Phil Murphy wants. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA)

Last fall, 29 New Jersey residents lost their lives to the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Ida. Like everywhere else on the planet, the Garden State is rapidly feeling the effects of climate change. Naturally, this means that some of the state's most prominent Democratic politicians are opposing a plan to significantly reduce fossil fuel emissions in their backyard because it will piss off a handful of well-to-do people who drive into Manhattan for work.

On Wednesday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy told reporters that he personally pleaded with President Joe Biden to delay the implementation of congestion pricing in Manhattan, by asking Biden to order a comprehensive and superfluous environmental assessment. This process, which would take several years, would be in addition to the 4,000-page environmental assessment the MTA completed this summer that the federal government is supposed to weigh in on in January.

"We will not relent," Murphy said.

For months, Murphy has joined other opportunistic politicians in trying to stop congestion pricing. He has threatened to sabotage Port Authority business, and his colleagues in Trenton have proposed legislation that would bar the state from sharing license plate information with New York.

Just 1.6 percent of commuters from New Jersey counties closest to Manhattan actually drive into the city for work, and they tend to make considerably more money than their mass transit peers. Still, Murphy insists that New Jersey drivers shouldn't have to fork out cash to drive into Manhattan below 60th Street because it's a form of "double taxation," because they already pay a toll for a bridge or tunnel. (Curiously, Murphy has not proposed any exemptions for New York drivers who want to take the NJ Turnpike.) Murphy is a former banker at Goldman Sachs. Surely he is familiar with the concept of induced demand. And as a politician who passed an ambitious green energy plan in 2018, he clearly knows better.

A Garden State resident living in say, Hudson County, where traffic into the city currently chokes their streets, could look at Murphy's cynical position here and argue that the governor is attempting to negotiate for a lower congestion pricing charge. But Murphy also supports a $4.8 billion plan to widen the turnpike, instead of improving existing NJ Transit or PATH infrastructure. Maybe he figures by the time that any of this climate stuff gets really hairy, he'll be dead anyway.

Here's what else we're paying attention to:

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Hell Gate

Horoscopes

Prepare Yourself for Sagittarius December Doldrums

It's December at last, which means New York's indisputable worst month (November) is over.

Morning Spew

It’s Thursday and the MTA Is Yet Again Staring Into the Abyss

Albany to NYC Subways, Drop Dead? And other links to start your day.

December 1, 2022
Eternal City

Henry Hill Slept Here: My Journey Through the ‘Goodfellas’ Locations of NYC

The tour’s locations capture a relatively ungentrified slice of deep Brooklyn and Queens, where mobsters once reigned like kings, hijacking and stealing and paying off the cops...And now it’s all over.

November 30, 2022
Eternal City

Let’s All Marvel at the Giant Tree We Murdered And Dragged Into Midtown Manhattan

A Norway spruce might live 300 years or longer, but this one would have to die.

Morning Spew

It’s Wednesday and We’re Involuntarily Confining People to Conceal Our Societal Failures Again

Eric Adams announces a huge policy shift before jetting off to Greece and Qatar, and more links for your day.

November 30, 2022
See all posts