Bay Area agencies to propose gasoline fee legislation
By Ari Burack
December 6, 2007
The Bay Area's air quality management agency gave approval yesterday
to begin drawing up legislation that would seek to impose a regional
gas fee to fight climate change, an agency spokeswoman said.
The board of the directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District, meeting in San Francisco yesterday, authorized staff
to initiate joint legislation with the Metropolitan Transportation
Commission that could come before Bay Area voters in 2009 or 2010,
according to BAAQMD spokeswoman Karen Schkolnick.
BAAQMD studies have shown that "over 50 percent of greenhouse
gases coming from our region are generated through transportation,"
including cars and trucks, airplanes and ships, Schkolnick said.
The BAAQMD and the MTC will now consider whether a proposed 10-cent
gasoline fee would be both amenable to voters and enough to mitigate
the "carbon imprint" drivers make on the environment
each time they fill up at the pumps, according to Schkolnick.
"There is a need to fund climate protection," Schkolnick
said. "This was seen as an opportunity to essentially have
a user fee when we buy gasoline."
The exact fee, and what transportation or climate protection
programs it would be used to fund, are yet to be decided, according
The BAAQMD, created in 1955 as the first regional state agency
to manage air pollution, oversees Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin,
San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Napa counties and portions
of Solano and Sonoma counties.
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