Senator Kerry Introduces Green Taxis Act of 2009 ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Senator Kerry Introduces Green Taxis Act of 2009

Friday, October 02, 2009

Senator Kerry Introduces Green Taxis Act of 2009

Boston, New York and Seattle have all tried and failed to force their taxi fleets to go hybrid over the past couple of years. Each time, the local taxi fleet owners have challenged and beaten the local lawmakers ability to set rules about their fuel efficiency.

Fleet owners don't want to change over because hybrid taxis are more expensive to purchase.  Drivers like hybrid taxis because they have to pay for the gas, which allows them to make more even when the fleet owners are allowed to charge more for driving them.

Judges would tell the city officials their new rules would go against the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which allows the federal government to set fuel economy standards.

While states could petition for exemptions (see California et. al. working hard to do just that), local governments could not.

Senator Kerry (D-MA) has introduced a bill (on behalf of Boston) to ammend that law. The ammendment would allow local governments to set fuel efficiency standards for taxicabs.

The bill is being dubbed the Green Taxis Act of 2009. It is part of the overall climate change bill. It will allow local government would be allowed to set taxi fleet fuel efficiency based on their own needs and policies.

"This legislation will help empower cities and towns across the nation, including Boston, to improve air quality, lower carbon emissions, and save cab drivers and passengers money," Kerry said in a prepared statement. "We know we must reinvent the way America uses energy and once again Boston is leading the way."

Mayor Thomas M. Menino added "Hybrid taxis make sense for taxi drivers, for consumers, and for the health of all Bostonians."

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