The Clean Car Program Petition for Dutchess County sign now

Do you think that Dutchess County should enact a self-financing, revenue-neutral county-level Clean Car Discount "feebate" program similar to the one recently proposed for California (AB432-Ruskin)-- designed to reduce global warming/greenhouse gas emissions here in the Hudson Valley by imposing a new one-time fee in our county of up to $2,500 on the sale of new, high carbon-emitting vehicles (starting with 2011 models)-- while rebating that fee to buyers of new low-emission vehicles in Dutchess?

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Clean Car Discount program proposed for California would wipe out nearly a third of the global warming pollution from cars and trucks thereover 75 million tons per year by 2030-- equivalent to taking almost 20 million vehicles off the road-- we need the same type of pro-active policy here for Dutchess County.

Most lower income car buyers would benefit from the Clean Car Discount program, as it would include exemptions on used cars and vehicles purchased for small business purposes, paratransit, and low-income residents. In fact, many low and moderate income residents who buy new vehicles would benefit from the program because the less expensive new cars and trucks, on average, receive the greatest rebate. It also would exempt persons with disabilities from having to pay any additional charges, and would make various models that can accommodate wheelchairs less expensive.

In California, over 40 percent of the 1.7 million new vehicles purchased there each year would be eligible for a rebate, and another 20 percent would not be affected at all; the same is likely true here. The Clean Car Discount program is designed to protect consumer choice. The average rebate or surcharge for most new vehicles would fall somewhere between $800 and $1,500, with a sizable number of new trucks, minivans, and SUVs falling into the designated zero-band where neither a surcharge nor a rebate will be applied.

As the Rocky Mountain Institute's Amory Lovins and E. Kyle Datta wrote this in their 2004 book,
"Winning the Oil Endgame: American Innovation for Profits, Jobs, and Security" (see OilEndGame.com), "Most importantly, revenue- and size-neutral "feebates" can shift customer choice by combining fees on inefficient vehicles with rebates to efficient vehicles. The feebates apply separately within each vehicle-size class, so freedom of choice is unaffected. Indeed, choice is enhanced as customers start to count fuel savings over the vehicle's life, not just the first few years, and this new pattern of demand pulls super-efficient but uncompromised vehicles from the drawing-board into the showroom."

The following groups have endorsed this legislation: Republicans for Environmental Protection, American Lung Association, Breast Cancer Fund, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Defense, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Consumer Action, Consumers Union, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, Consumer Federation of California, Our Childrens Earth, California Interfaith Power and Light, The Interfaith Environmental Council of Los Angeles, Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment, California Public Interest Research Group, Better World Club, Environmental Entrepreneurs, EV Rental Cars, CA Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, Sempra Energy (SoCal Gas Company/SDG&E), Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Working Assets, Environment California, Environmental Defense Center, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Clean Power Campaign, Breathe California, Coalition for Clean Air, Earth Day Los Angeles, Energy Independence Now, San Diego Environmental Foundation, et. al.

According to a 2006 poll, 60\% of likely voters support the Clean Car Discount program, with an overwhelming majority from every region, income level, and political affiliation indicating support; see: http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/2007/06/california_asse_16.html;
http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/2007/04/legislators_shi.html;
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_california/california-clean-car-discount.html.

Of course such a program should be national or state-level-- but if Washington and/or Albany will not act to make this common-sense proposal reality, there's no reason why our County Legislature could not pass a home rule request asking Albany to allow this here-- help make it happen here.

So-- if you agree that Dutchess County should enact a self-financing, revenue-neutral county-level Clean Car Discount "feebate" program similar to the one recently proposed for California, sign on to this petition, pass it along to all you know, and contact our County Legislature at [email protected] and [email protected]

Joel Tyner
County Legislator (Clinton/Rhinebeck)
324 Browns Pond Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
[email protected]
(845) 876-2488

[Fact: County-level sales tax breaks and other incentives for hybrid cars, for example, have been the subject of serious consideration in Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties): see:
http://www.whybuyhybrid.com/New-York-Hybrid-vehicle-purchase-Tax-Incentives.htm;
http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/legis/press/2001/PR052301\%20Hybrid\%20Electric\%20Vehicles.htm;
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F02E0DA1531F937A15757C0A9639C8B63.]

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Fact: Dutchess County's average hourly concentration of ozone has been found to be much higher than even that of New York City's, according to a recent study conducted at Millbrook's Institute of Ecosystem Studies by Dr. Clive Jones, Jillian Gregg, and Todd Dawson (this was reported prominently in the Poughkeepsie Journal and New York Times just a few years ago; see Ecostudies.org/people_sci_jones_pubs.asp).

Fact: "Since 1970, winter temperatures in the Northeast have increased 4.3 degrees...'This is a tremendous change in 30 years' time,' said Cameron Wake, a University of New Hampshire scientist who contributed to a comprehensive report about climate change in the Northeastern United States and adjacent Canadian provinces...conference about climate change in the Hudson Valley organized by Department of Environmental Conservation" (Poughkeepsie Journal 12/17/06).

Fact: According to the BBC December 14. 2005, "The top 10 warmest years recorded globally have all occurred during the last 12 years."
(see News.BBC.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6177663.stm; also "Humans Faulted for Global Warming: International Panel of Climate Scientists Sounds Dire Alarm" by Juliet Eilperin for the Washington Post Feb. 3rd: washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/02/AR2007020200192.html.]

Fact: According to an Associated Press report December 29, 2007 "2007: A Year of Weather Records in US" by Seth Borenstein, "Through the first 10 months, 2007 was the hottest year recorded on land and the third hottest when ocean temperatures are included. At U.S. weather stations, more than 8,000 new heat records were set or tied for specific August dates. January was the warmest first month on record worldwide - 1.53 degrees above normal. It was the first time since record-keeping began in 1880 that the globe's average temperature has been so far above the norm for any month of the year. U.S. weather stations broke or tied 263 all-time high temperature records, according to an Associated Press analysis of U.S. weather data. Worst of all - at least according to climate scientists - the Arctic, which serves as the world's refrigerator, dramatically warmed in 2007, shattering records for the amount of melting ice. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released four major reports in 2007 saying man-made global warming was incontrovertible and an urgent threat to millions of lives."
[see http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122907G.shtml]

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From http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_california/california-clean-car-discount-1.html...

California Clean Car Discount FAQs

1.What is achieved by having California apply rebates and surcharges to most new vehicle purchases?

The California Clean Car Discount achieves four goals:

To encourage the purchase of cleaner cars that produce less global warming pollution.
To make cleaner cars more affordable for everyone.
To encourage automakers to manufacture cleaner vehicles.
To internalize some of the pollution costs imposed on society by high-polluting vehicles.

2. How much will the rebates and surcharges be?

Rebates and surcharges on new vehicles will not exceed $2,500. The average rebate or surcharge for most new vehicles will fall somewhere between $800 and $1,500, with a sizable number of new trucks, minivans, and SUVs falling into the designated zero-band where neither a surcharge nor a rebate will be applied. Rebates and surcharges are only applied to new vehicles at the time of purchase.

3. Will AB 493 affect used cars?

No, the California Clean Car Discount deals only with new vehicle purchases; there will be no surcharge or rebate on used vehicle purchases. However, since todays new vehicles are tomorrows used vehicles, this program would eventually improve the pool of used vehicles by creating an incentive to make cleaner cars more prevalent on our roads.


4. How much will this program reduce global warming pollution?

The exact amount of emission benefits gained by this program will depend on its final structure and the mix of vehicles that are offered in the future. UCS engineersestimatethat the Clean Car Discount program can wipe out nearly a third of Californias global warming pollution from cars and trucksover 75 million tons per year by 2030. This would be equivalent to taking almost 20 million vehicles off the road.

5.How might AB 493 impact low-income families?

Most lower income car buyers can benefit from AB 493. The bill does not apply to purchases of used vehicles.The Clean Car Discount program includes exemptions for vehicles purchased for small business purposes, paratransit, and low-income Californians. In fact many low and moderate income residents who buy new vehicles will benefit from AB 493 because the less expensive new cars and trucks, on average, receive the greatest rebates.

Median Retail Price of New Vehicles
Those Receiving Rebates=$22,496
Those W/O Rebate or Surcharge=$27,623
Those Receiving Surcharge $38,270

6. Is AB 493 just another attack on monster SUVs?

No, this program is based on each vehicles amount of global warming pollution regardless of vehicle type. While larger SUVs do emit more global warming pollution, the Clean Car program is designed so that some vehicles of nearly all types, including SUVs, will be eligible for a rebate or fall into the zero band.

7. Doesn't California already have strict emission standards for vehicles?

California does have important standards for smog-forming pollution from cars and trucks. However, global warming pollution from vehicles has actually increased over the past 15-20 years. To this day, there continues to be a great disparity between the amount of global warming pollution emitted from the lowest and highest emission vehicles. The California Clean Car Discount will provide incentives for consumers to buy cleaner vehicles and for manufacturers to make more of them available.

8. Why not just give tax incentives for clean vehicle purchases?

The existing federal tax credit for hybrids impacts only a small portion of the marketand it expires soon. By giving both rebates and surcharges, the program affects most vehicles and makes all types of cleaner cars more attractive, thereby having a greater impact on reducing harmful emissions.

9. Is this just another program for hybrids?

This program provides incentives for any clean vehicle, not just hybrids. While most of the hybrid vehicles that are available will likely receive a rebate, so will a large number of conventional vehicles, including a number of minivans and SUVs. Clean, alternative-fueled vehicles will also be incentivized.

10. Will our taxes pay for the rebates on cleaner vehicles?

No. The Clean Car Discount program is designed to be self-financing, where the surcharges will pay for the rebates.

11. What if I need a specific type of vehicle for my small business or lifestyle, such as a minivan or pickup truck? Will I have to pay a surcharge on my vehicle of choice?

The Clean Car Discount program is designed to protect consumer choice. There will be a variety of vehicles to choose from, including SUVs, minivans, and pick-up trucks that will either receive a rebate or fall into the zero-band category, receiving neither a rebate nor a surcharge.

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From http://www.ur.umich.edu/0607/Jun25_07/17.shtml...

"California's clean car program would cut pollution, save drivers money"
by Bernie DeGroat (University of Michigan Record 6/25/07)

A market-based incentive program to reduce global warming emissions from new cars and trucks would cut pollution as much as 33 percent and provide up to $2,500 in lifetime fuel savings for drivers, according to a new study by the U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

The Clean Car Discount program creates a schedule of fees and rebates, collectively known as "feebates," based on the amount of global warming pollution different new vehicles produce.

"Our analysis shows that by harnessing the power of price signals, feebates spur consumers to purchase and manufacturers to produce cleaner vehicles," says Walter McManus, director of UMTRI's Automotive Analysis Division.

The study, "Economic Analysis of Feebates to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Light Vehicles for California," uses the program design of The California Clean Car Discount Act (AB 493) introduced by state Assemblyman Ira Ruskin.

The bill directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to implement a self-financing program to provide one-time rebates for new passenger cars and trucks with low global warming pollution emissions, which are paid for by one-time point-of-purchase fees assessed on dirtier vehicles. Twenty to 25 percent of cars and trucks, representing all vehicle types, must be included in a "zero band" that would not qualify for rebates or surcharges, according to the proposed legislation.

UMTRI's study examines the economic impact on consumers and manufacturers, as well as the resulting reductions in global warming emissions from the existing Pavley regulations and the feebates program by analyzing four alternative scenarios: 1) Pavley alone; 2) Feebates at $18 per gram of CO2-equivalent per mile; 3) Feebates at $36 per gram; and 4) Pavley plus feebates at $18 per gram. To determine the costs of reducing global warming pollution, McManus created cost curves using 39 emissions-reducing technology packages identified by CARB.

The study's findings include:

California's Pavley regulation alone achieves 26.7 percent reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;

Pavley plus feebates at $18 per gram (of CO2 per mile) achieves 25 percent more reductions than Pavley alone;

Retailers' revenues rise under all scenarios. Pavley plus feebates creates the greatest increase with retailers earning $55.7 billion in revenue, a $3.5 billion (6.7 percent) increase compared to base earnings;

Feebates, in conjunction with Pavley or alone, boost sales of cleaner cars; and

Consumers save as much as $2,544 under all scenarios and all vehicle types over the lifetime of their vehicles from reduced operational and fuel costs.

"We concluded that a feebates program combined with California's Pavley law is a potent policy solution to reduce global warming emissions because everyone gainsthe consumer, the retailer and the environment we share," McManus said.

In California, vehicles are responsible for nearly a third of the state's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, there are more than 20 million passenger vehicles on California roads, with the fleet expected to grow by 1.9 million new passenger cars and trucks a year.

The California Assembly Appropriations Committee will consider AB 493 at the end of May, with an Assembly floor vote expected at the beginning of June.

A copy of the UMTRI study can be found at www.umtri.umich.edu.

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Jimmy RichBy:
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