Pataki Unveils Fuel-Efficiency Plan for N.Y.
ALBANY, N.Y. --- As part of his proposed budget package, New York Gov. George Pataki this week unveiled a multi-faceted plan aimed at reducing the state’s dependence on foreign energy sources. The plan includes elimination of state taxes on renewable automotive fuels, a new hybrid vehicle tax credit, and creation of a $24 million research lab to develop clean energy technologies. The proposal also calls for additional renewable-fuel stations across the state and for discounted Thruway tolls for hybrid vehicles.“This plan is a blueprint to encourage additional private-sector development of alternative energy sources, attract jobs and investments in clean energy, and help to diversify our fuel supplies, Gov. Pataki said. “I call on the Legislature to join in this effort to create an independent energy future for all New Yorkers.”Pataki’s plan seeks to eliminate state taxes on such renewable automotive fuels as E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) and B20 fuels (20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum). Moreover, a new $5 million program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, would provide competitive grants to gas stations to install or convert pumps so they can dispense E85 and B20 fuels. A proposed $20 million program, administered by the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, would develop a pilot cellulosic ethanol facility in New York. The proposed hybrid vehicle tax credit would provide a $2,000 personal income tax credit to individuals who purchase new hybrid, alternative flex-fuel vehicles.Gov. Pataki has directed the New York State Thruway Authority to create a new “Green” E-Z pass, which will provide a 10-percent discount for drivers of fuel-efficient vehicles, such as hybrids that average at least 45 miles per gallon and meet certain EPA emissions standards.