Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bloomberg goes green

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Give Michael Bloomberg a lot of credit. While the federal government, under Bush, refuses to do anything about the climate crisis, refusng to acknowledge that there is a crisis at all, or even that global warming is a reality, he and other state and local officials around the country are providing the sort of progressive leadership that is sorely needed at this critical time. Here's what's new in New York today:

Every yellow cab in this city will be a fuel-efficient hybrid by 2012, and stricter emissions and gas mileage standards for taxis will be phased in starting next year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday.

There are now 375 hybrid vehicles among the 13,000 taxis rolling on New York City streets. Under Bloomberg’s plan, that number will increase to 1,000 by October 2008 and will grow by about 20 percent each year until 2012.

"There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City," Bloomberg said. "These cars just sit there in traffic sometimes, belching fumes.

"This does a lot less. It's a lot better for all of us," he said of the hybrid plan.

Indeed it is. The rest of the country would do well to follow his lead.

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