Friday, Feb. 16, 2007

House and Senate could vote on clean cars bill on Tuesday

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ANNAPOLIS — An amendment to the House version of the clean cars bill would permanently exclude zero emissions vehicles from state inspection and extend an exemption from inspections for certain hybrid vehicles until at least 2012.

The amendment also would give anyone buying certain hybrids, which are currently exempt from inspection until 2009, a three-year inspection exemption from the date of purchase.

The bill, on which both the House and the Senate could vote, is not a cure-all, said Del. Susan W. Krebs (D-Dist. 9B) of Eldersburg, who offered the amendment. ‘‘The purpose of the bill is to nudge along the manufacturers for higher fuel efficiencies,” she said.

The bill calls for vehicles sold in Maryland starting in 2011 to be more fuel-efficient and produce fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

On Thursday, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted in favor of the bill with an amendment that would commission a study to review related air regulations and an amendment that would allow dealers to sell cars that do not meet the state standards to out-of-state customers.

Clean car legislation has been passed in 11 states. It is modeled on a California law.