Massachusetts to Phase Out SUV Fleet and Substitute with Hybrids
The state-owned SUV is about to be retired in Massachusetts under a program to help deter global warming that Gov. Mitt Romney's development chief is slated to release, according to the Boston Herald newspaper on May 6. All state-owned SUVs will now be phased out as their leases expire, said Commonwealth Development Deputy Secretary Gina McCarthy. In their place, the state plans to acquire fuel-efficient hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius, which are smaller and use less gas by relying partly on electric power. The SUV ban is just one recommendation among dozens that will be offered, under a "Climate Protection Plan" that's been the focal point of Commonwealth Development chief Douglas I. Foy's efforts. The plan codifies pledges made in 2001 by the New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers, and vaults Massachusetts into the vanguard of efforts to arrest worldwide rising temperatures that could spark violent weather patterns, swamp the coastlines, kill marine wildlife, and hamper the tourism industry.