MONROE- Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) of West Deptford and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-21) of Westfield may not always be in lockstep, but both agree that legislation requiring gas stations to have generators is not a good idea.
Several legislators on both sides of the aisle including Sen. Barbara Buono, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo and the Republican lawmakers from the 10th legislative district have introduced legislation intended to get gas stations to have the devices. Snake-like lines formed outside some of the few gas stations that were open in central and North Jersey in the days after Superstorm Sandy.
But Sweeney said that while the legislation may be well-intended, he said requiring backup generators “makes no sense at all.”
He said the reason many gas stations were closed was because they simply ran out of fuel.
“You can’t just mandate and put these costs on small businesses,” he said at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast forum today.
Kean agreed with the president, saying such a requirement can be cost prohibitive.
“It keeps small business owners, gas station owners in business because you don’t have a $15,000 cost up front plus other expenses going forward.”
Both agreed, though, that something needs to be done to make gas stations “generator ready” so they would be able to hook up the device if the station owner wants to.
Gov. Chris Christie has said virtually the same thing.
Kean added that a fuel depot that has generator access can use it to market itself.
“You can advertise it. You’re the one who’s going to get the FEMA generator and people will be able to use that gas station. “