As a non-profit organization with an IRS 501 (c) 4 designation, NJEL has no restrictions on the amount of direct lobbying that it can do on behalf of the environment. NJEL is independent of a national parent, chooses its own priorities, and welcomes opportunities to collaborate with other organizations on environmental issues. NJEL believes that conservation of the environment is compatible with economic growth. NJEL is a taxpayer-friendly organization that takes into account the health costs of pollution, the economic benefits of recycling, and the job creation opportunities in the renewable energy and alternative-fuel vehicles.
NJEL supports expansion of mass transit and repairs to the existing highway infrastructure as opposed to projects that encourage sprawl. NJEL has assisted in planning pedestrian-friendly traffic patterns for retail areas. We strongly support the redevelopment of urban "brownfields," but with the proviso that the Federal Superfund should be utilized for its intended purpose and that current polluters should not shift their costs to the taxpayers and corporations who already have shouldered their clean-up burdens.
NJEL focuses mainly on issues generated in New Jersey, but does become involved in national issues that impact our state. Specifically, NJEL will continue to oppose Federal policies that would allow out-of-state electric utilities to evade pollution upgrades and pollute our air, after New Jersey's power generators have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on pollution controls, site remediation, and habitat restoration.
NJEL was "ahead of the curve" when it began promoting low-emission vehicles and renewable energy. Those are now part of the mainstream industrial sector and accepted as attractive investment opportunities. They are part of job creation in New Jersey. NJEL is now working for state support of fledgling technologies and fair zoning treatment of renewable energy installations.
NJEL was directly involved in the successful campaign to require reclamation of mercury from scrap vehicles. This initiative eliminated a significant, though little known, source of mercury, a poison, while creating a business opportunity for recyclers and avoiding future remediation and health costs for businesses and taxpayers.