NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York lawmakers came together on Monday to announce new federal legislation they hope will allow them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for city taxis.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb with Gillibrand and Bloomberg

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Taxi Commissioner David Yassky were joined by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Jerrold Nadler to introduce the Green Taxis Act of 2011.

Gillibrand said the legislation was a “common sense proposal that would update antiquated laws.”

Nadler stressed that fuel efficient taxis would reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a city program that tried to create a more fuel-efficient fleet of taxis.

City officials first wanted new taxicabs in 2008 to get at least 25 miles per gallon and 2009 taxicabs to achieve 30 miles a gallon. They then tried to force taxicab companies to go to hybrid cars by making it more expensive for them to buy fuel.

Officials hope the federal legislation introduced Monday will clear the way for the implementation of those proposed standards not just in New York City, but across the country.

Nadler said taxis are currently “under-regulated” in emissions and energy efficiency and lagging behind protocols in San Francisco and London.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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