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3 of 4 major rental car outfits won't pledge not to rent or sell recalled vehicles

In 2004, Raechel and Jackie Houck were killed when they were in a fiery accident in the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser they had rented from Enterprise. The girls' mother, Cally Houck, sued Enterprise when it was discovered that their Chrysler was the subject of a recall to repair a power steering hose leak over a potential fire issue, yet th

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New Jersey adds "road rage" kicker to traffic violations

A Carnegie Mellon paper gauges that it would take 76 days to read all of the privacy policies for the companies you deal with, and that's before you get to the terms and conditions and other small prints. Judging how quickly states are adding new laws to their driving codes and swapping punishments, staying informed might also require a semester of reading pretty soon.

Official
Energy secretary says more alt-fuel options are better than gas-price drop

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the federal government will continue to emphasize finding alternative forms of transportation energy sources over merely trying to find ways to cut gas prices, Politico is reporting, citing Chu's comments at a Washington, D.C., House appropriations hearing earlier this week.

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Arizona lawmaker proposals per-mile electric-vehicle tax

Because nothing says environmental sustainability like a per-mile tax on electric vehicles.

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Arizona repeals Clean Cars program after one year

Arizona has repealed a lower vehicle emissions program that was patterned after California's rules after just one year in effect. The state government voted to instead match federal greenhouse-gas regulations.

Opinion
Auto dealers fight strict California emissions rules

The National Automobile Dealers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to revoke a waiver granted in 2009 by the Environmental Protection Agency that permits California, along with 13 other states, to adopt stricter emissions policies than those required by the federal government. The waiver affects greenhouse gas emissions in vehi

Connecticut governor hopes to implement electric vehicle incentives

After nine months of meetings, the Electric Vehicles Infrastructure Council created by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell has issued its final report on how to promote the use of plug-in vehicles in the state. The list of proposed incentives covers all of the usual bases but doesn't get too specific about anything.

Tax credit for "black liquor" eliminated under health care reform bill *UPDATE

Buried in the health car reform legislation is a mention of a paper-making byproduct known as "black liquor." This substance, a wood-pulping byproduct, is utilized as a biofuel to generate electricity for paper-making companies throughout the U.S. Up until now, companies utilizing this black substance could claim a hefty tax credit related to the use of biofuels for production purposes.

Transportation Secretary embraces bicycling, walking for a greener future

Right now, it seems impossible to imagine a day when bicycles and pedestrians can equally share the roads with cars and trucks in the U.S., but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood aims to make that day a reality. Recently, LaHood announced a "major policy revision" that will treat cyclists and walkers with policies similar to automobiles. LaHood's goal is to refocus e

Senate to vote on 'Cash for Clunkers' today?

A vote could come today on a bill designed to offer credits of up to $4,500 for consumers to trade-in gas-guzzling older vehicles. The so-called "cash for clunkers" legislation is designed to stimulate auto sales, but it also stands to effectively remove gross polluters from the roads and put drivers in safer and more fuel efficient vehicles.

Florida signs new primary seat belt law, gets $35 million from gov't

Drivers and front-seat passengers in Florida may be cited for not wearing seat belts when a new law takes effect on June 30. Known as a "primary" seat belt law, the law allows enforcement officers to pull vehicles over solely for a belt violation (a "secondary" seat belt law requires another infraction to take place before a ticket may be issued). Florida is only the 28th state to enact a primary seat belt law, while the remainder have se

Honda pondering plug-in hybrid as response to U.S. policy changes?

"We are thinking about plug-in hybrids, but we aren't thinking about commercializing one right away." This is what Honda's President Takeo Fukui said in a recent interview. The automaker, which is leasing hydrogen cars in the U. S. and Japan, thinks of hydrogen as the long-term solution, but competitors and new automotive policies coming out of the White House are forcing the Japanese marque to rethink its policy. The new regulations might be the most important for Honda, because the Obama presi

Whither Suburbia? Virginia all but outlaws cul-de-sac construction in face of traffic costs

Virginia lawmakers are taking a metaphorical battering ram to suburban culs-de-sac, those little dead-end roundabouts that are almost all adorned with a yellow sign saying "No Outlet." Caught out by spiraling maintenance and development costs, the Washington Post reports that legislators are now mandating that the state will only maintain new subdivision roadways that meet its revised requirements for narrower dimensions and increased connectivity. That maintenance includes not only thi

California outlaws texting while driving... finally

After wiping the egg off his face for approving legislation earlier this year that banned cell phone use yet still allowed texting behind the wheel, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger hurriedly signed legislation today banning drivers from sending, writing, or reading messages on electronic devices. If you are one of those text-messaging morons in th

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