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14

A Texas Fee-bate Program

NMOG

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Particulate

HCHO

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4.2

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.018

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4.2

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2.1

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0

Several options exist for assessing annual registration pollution fees (see Table 9). Annual fees on vehicles might be assessed based on the health impacts of the pollution they emit. Estimates of the per mile health costs of driving range from 84 cents to 3.95 cents.21 Assuming vehicles are driven an average of 10,000 miles annually, fees would be levied at $84 for the cleanest cars, such as a Honda Insight, and up to $395 for the dirtiest, such as the Cadillac Escalade. A Chevy Suburban22 would pay $348. A Pontiac Grand Am, which emits the median amount of pollution for a car, would pay $196. A Ford Explorer, with median emissions for a light truck, would pay $273. The annual registration notice sent to car owners also could include a notice regarding the new car incentive program and air pollution from autos.

Source: TCEQ

Bin 8 Bin 7 Bin 6 Bin 5 Bin 4 Bin 3 Bin 2 Bin 1

A fee-bates plan could utilize the eight standard Bin rankings already used by the EPA and TCEQ (Table 8). It could assess fees and rebates based on how much each vehicle pollutes, with exemptions allowed for registered farm vehicles. In this simple model, bigger polluters would pay bigger fees.

Table 8. Bin Rankings for passenger cars, light trucks and medium duty vehicles (MY 2004)

A second option would be to charge an annual fee based upon the costs of funding TERP. Vehicles in Bin 1 might receive an annual $50 rebate while large SUVs and other big polluters would pay several hundred dollars each year at registration. If the statewide annual average pollution registration fee was $82, the first year of the program could make up the missing TERP funding, along with helping to clean the air and making clean cars attractive economically.

21 Several groups have quantified health and environmental costs of driving, per mile. Our data is based on ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy)’s Green Book, the 2002 model year data, available online at www.greenercars.com. ACEEE evaluates the costs, based on emissions, for every make and model of cars sold in America. Another report that gives more general numbers is: “The health and visibility cost of air pollution: a comparison of estimation methods;” Delucchi, Mark A., James J. Murphy and Donald R. McCubbin; Journal of Environmental Management (2002) 64, 139–152, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com. It evaluates the public health cost per mile of driving to be $.03.

22 All cars were evaluated for MY 2002. The specs are as follows: Honda Insight, 1.0 L 3 auto CVT; Cadillac Escalade, 6.0 L 8 auto Awd; Chevy Suburban, K1500, 5.3 L 8 auto 4wd; Pontiac Grand Am; 3.4 L 6 auto; and Ford Explorer, 4.0 L 6 auto.

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