On October 25, 2010, the New Jersey State Assembly overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 77-0 its bill A1052, which amends Title 52 of the Revised Statutes to require State entities generally to “consider the use of biofuels to replace the use of petroleum-based fossil fuels” and specifically to make such purchases “for heating equipment, or other similar combustion systems, motor vehicles, or other motorized equipment[]” provided that the State entity determines that (1) the cost of using biofuels is either the same or less than the cost of using fossil fuels and (2) the use of biofuels for the purpose in question is reasonable, prudent and cost effective.

According to the Legislative declaration, “[i]t is in the public interest for the State to advance biofuel technologies by adopting policies that foster the production and purchase of biofuels as means to promote alternative energy technologies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce reliance on petroleum-based fossil fuels.”  The term “biofuel” is defined under the bill as “liquid or gaseous fuels produced from organic sources such as sustainably grown and harvested crops including native noninvasive energy crops, agricultural residues and non-recycled organic waste including waste cooking oil, grease and food wastes.  The term “energy crops” is also separately defined under the legislatively approved bill a complete copy of which may be found on the New Jersey Legislature’s website.

The ultimate disposition of Assembly bill 1052 is uncertain.  Prior to the Assembly vote the Senate also passed the bill (substituting A1052 for its bill S1413) by a significant margin (37-0).  The legislation now goes to Governor Christie.