Urban Legends – Emissions based on engine displacement

In 2006 a senator introduced a bill (SB 6900) that would have charged a vehicle registration fee every year based on the size of your engine and not on the use of the vehicle. The bill did not receive a hearing, did not come up for a vote, and never passed. It does not even exist in this legislative session. Nevertheless I continue to get 20+ emails a week on the issue.

While providing incentives to people to purchase more fuel efficient vehicles may be reasonable policy, I’m not fond of this bill. There is a federal gas-guzzler tax that is much larger than this fee. If that doesn’t work our fee wouldn’t either. You also need to consider usage. I own a full-size Ford F-150 pickup with a V-8 engine. I drive it about 3000 miles a year hauling stuff places. The truck is 10 years old and I expect to pass it down to my kids with less than 100,000 miles on it a long time from now. My wife’s Prius generates more emmissions because she drives it a lot more.

I voted for aligning us with the California emmissions standards to try to keep us from filling the air with needless particulates, but I think this bill doesn’t work. I didn’t support it in 2006, and I wouldn’t support it now.

Please stop sending me email about this dead bill. Also, there are no alligators in the sewer system.

About the Author

Ross
I am the Director of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State. I formerly represented the 48th Legislative District in the State House of Representatives, chairing the Appropriations committee and spent many a year at Microsoft.