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A call for 10 more years of carpool lane access for green car buyers

February 08, 2013|By Ronald D. White
  • Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield wants to extend carpool lane access to plug-in hybrid, hydrogen and natural gas vehicles.
Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield wants to extend carpool lane access to plug-in… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

California Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield says that green car buyers deserve a bigger reward than they are getting for helping to reduce emissions. That's why the San Fernando Valley lawmaker wants to extend an existing perk for 10 more years.

Drivers of electric, natural gas- and hydrogen-powered cars can already ignore occupancy requirements and drive in a carpool lane or pay a toll.

But that benefit will expire in 2015. The Blumenfield bill--AB 266--was introduced this week with the goal of extending the clean car perk until 2025.

Photos: the gas miser gallery

"I live in the San Fernando Valley and that is ground zero in Los Angeles for air quality issues and traffic issues," Blumenfield said in an interview. "From an environmental perspective, it is critical that we continue to do things like this."

AB 266 would be the latest in a series of bills Blumenfield has pushed to encourage the purchase of low- and zero-emissions vehicles.

A bill sponsored by Blumenfield that passed last year and became law in January, for example, helped to make quick-charging devices more affordable for buyers of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

"This has been a passion of mine for a very long time," Blumenfield said, adding that he hoped that the bill, if successful in the Legislature, will encourage more drivers to by electric and plug-in hybrids.

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