- Report Published -
|HJR 410 (1995)|
|The Joint Subcommittee Studying the Use of Vehicles Powered by Clean Transportation Fuels (later renamed the Clean Fuels Study Subcommittee) was created in 1990. Its mission has been to improve and preserve air quality and reduce consumption of imported oil by promoting the use of clean-burning motor fuels other than gasoline and diesel fuel. The group has sponsored or otherwise supported the passage of more than 60 pieces of legislation reducing and eliminating regulatory roadblocks, providing tax breaks and other incentives, and encouraging pilot projects and demonstrations involving environmentally friendly alternative fuels. Of these 49 bills and resolutions have been approved by the legislature and signed into law, giving Virginia one of the most ambitious clean fuels programs in the United States.|
To the greatest degree practicable, the subcommittee has sought to remain "fuel neutral," treating all alternative fuels equally, and leaving consumers and competitive forces maximum freedom of operation in the clean fuel market place. In framing its legislative recommendations, the panel has consistently preferred broad-based incentives to strict numerical quotas and public education to bureaucratic coercion. In concluding its six years of operation, the subcommittee has recommended two additional pieces of draft legislation for consideration by the 1996 Session of the General Assembly.
The first bill extends until July 1, 1999, authorization of the use of high-occupancy vehicle facilities by vehicles displaying clean fuel vehicle license plates, regardless of the number of vehicle's passengers. The second bill (i) repeals the present Virginia Motor Vehicle Scrappage Program, intended to improve air quality by providing a $700 "bounty" to persons who scrap older (1981 model year older) motor vehicles, and (ii) creates a new, more flexible, Virginia Motor Vehicle Emissions Reduction Program in its place.
The subcommittee also recommended amendments to the Governor's proposed budget to provide for continued funding of the Virginia Alternative Fuels Revolving Fund at present levels ($750,000 annually).