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Is this the best the General Assembly can do?

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Date published: 3/3/2013

I wish to thank our Fredericksburg-area state senators for voting against the transportation bill. I'm sorry more legislators didn't follow suit.

The environmentally unfriendly section that allows a $100 fee on alternative-fuel vehicles is a slap in the face to anyone who drives one. The gas savings, although substantial, makes up only part of the rationale for buying a Prius, Insight, or any of the other alternative-fuel cars. For years, local, state, and federal governments have touted energy savings, reducing dependency on foreign oil, and reducing the carbon footprint. Automakers responded by engineering vehicles that give the consumer these choices.

Now our leaders in Richmond are telling us that we're not using enough gas if we drive one of these vehicles! So when I sit stalled in traffic and my electric motor quietly cuts in, I'll be paying for the person in the SUV next to me as he wastes gas and expands umanity's carbon footprint. Consider, too, that heavier vehicles wear down road surface more quickly, driving up the costs of repairing highways. Wasn't this legislation about fixing the roads?

Will the fee include motorcyles, Smart cars, and any other car that gets good gas mileage? If not, this policy is discriminatory. I wrote the governor to defend the gas tax as it stood, but never received a reply. Now, the poor, through higher sales tax, will subsidize those who can afford bigger cars and the gas to drive them.

How sad that we must improve quality of life for all Virginians and improve the busi-ness climate by throwing the least fortunate under the bus (also touted by our government for gas savings). Sorry, Mr. Howell, I just don't buy it. It can't be the best we can do.

Did our attorney general weigh in on the constitutional issues here? He was certainly on the job with Obamacare. The alternative-fuel tax is clearly a violation of our rights; I'll be contacting the ACLU directly.

Judy Sanford