New York City’s plan to mandate fuel emissions on cabs may have been struck down by the Supreme Court, but our lawmakers are not giving up on creating a greener taxi fleet. Yesterday, Senator Kristen Gillibrand and Representative Jerrold Nadler joined Mayor Bloomberg to introduce the Green Taxis Act of 2011. The new legislation calls for changing the federal law to allow cities to set their own efficiency and emissions standards for taxi cabs. It will be presented to the Senate and House of Representatives this week.
Currently, about one third of New York City’s 13,000 cabs are considered green vehicles. If the entire fleet was upgraded, officials estimate that the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be the equivalent of removing 35,000 cars from the streets.
“This is a common-sense proposal that would update antiquated laws and give New York the authority, and other cities around the country the authority, to set their own fuel emissions standards,” Gillibrand said.
Under the current law, only the federal government can regulate emission standards, which was the reason why the law was rejected when Gillibrand and Nadler first introduced it in 2009. Last month, the Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal by the city. Despite the law’s negative track record, Gillibrand and Nadler are confident that the new version will find success. Here’s hoping!