Auto fee/rebate bill defeated

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 15, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Legislation requiring the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to create and implement a clean vehicle incentive program that provides rebates to, and requires surcharges from, purchasers of new motor vehicles based on the vehicles' greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, was defeated on the Assembly floor recently.

AB 493 (Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City), fell six votes short of the 41 needed to get out of the Assembly and over to the Senate.

While transportation accounts for a significant portion of the state's GHG emissions, the approach contained in AB 493 was unfair and unlikely to yield the emissions reductions that its supporters anticipated.

The bill would have disproportionately impacted small businesses and Californians who for a variety of reasons may require large vehicles.  It exempted state vehicles from the surcharge, thereby increasing the burden for others.  It also didn't take into account the fact that many large vehicles might only be driven short distances while smaller vehicles might be driven many miles (in other words, the actual emissions).  

Last year, the Legislature enacted AB 32 (Chapter 488, Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles), which establishes a mandatory cap on GHG emissions and requires CARB to adopt rules and regulations to achieve GHG emission reductions.  The implementation of AB 32 is currently underway.  AB 493 prejudged the outcome of AB 32 implementation proceedings and was unfair.

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