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6/25/2005
Liberal Democrats Target SUVs in America, Britain
Members of the Liberal Democrat party in Britain and liberal members of the Democratic party in America are trying to discourage SUV sales and use.

Senator Richard Durbin
Members of the Liberal Democrat party in Britain and liberal members of the Democratic party in America are offering proposals that would discourage the sales and use of sport utility vehicles. Late Thursday, Richard Durbin, the senior US Senator from Illinois offered an amendment to the energy bill currently before Congress. The measure would have raised the average fuel economy standard that automakers must meet to sell cars in the United States by nearly 50 percent to 40 MPG. The move was designed to force car manufacturers to stop selling SUVs and replace them with hybrid technology vehicles such as the Toyota Prius.

"Detroit is so wedded to the concept of selling these monster SUVs and big cars that they will not use it," Durbin explained Thursday. "They will not use the technology that is currently there."

The measure failed on a 28-67 vote, as Republicans such as Missouri Senator Kit Bond argued, "I don't want to tell the people in my State or any other State they are not allowed to purchase an SUV because Congress decided it would not be a good choice. That sounds like the command and control economy of the Soviet Union."

In Great Britain, Liberal Democrat Party members have created a list of 68 sport utility vehicles and propose that anyone entering London with a listed SUV should be charged double the congestion tax, which would be £16 (US $29) per visit as of July.

"SUVs are great in rural areas but in city centres they are a danger to pedestrians, a potential hazard to other road users, can cause more damage than any other type of car and take up more roadspace, so increasing congestion," Liberal Democrat spokesman Stephanie Dearden told The Local London Reporter. "The Mayor has dodged and weaved on this issue but it is clear from our research that it is possible to identify Sports Utility Vehicles and charge them double for entering the congestion charge zone."

Article Excerpt:
Those footing higher bills would include motorists behind the wheels of the BMW X5 series, Landrover Discoveries, Ford Explorers, Vauxhall Fronteras and Suzuki Grand Vitaras. Jeep Cherokees, Toyota Landcruisers and Volvo XC90s would also be told to cough up extra cash for coughing out extra fumes.
Source: Double Charge Plan For Fourwheel Drives (Local London Reporter, 6/25/2005)

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