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brownsf.jpgGov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Saturday extending a fee on vehicle registrations and tire sales to pay for programs designed to reduce emissions.

Assembly Bill 8, by Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, will extend until 2024 a $3 increase in vehicle registration fees that was scheduled to expire in 2016. It requires the California Energy Commission to spend as much as $220 million in vehicle registration fee revenues over the next decade to fund the development of up to 100 hydrogen-fueling stations.

Brown also signed Senate Bill 359, by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, which includes $20 million for rebates to Californians who purchase a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or battery or fuel cell electric vehicle.

The Democratic governor said last week that he would sign the measures, and they were among a package of bills promoted by his office as supporting the state's "burgeoning electric vehicle market."

"Today, we reaffirm our commitment in California to an electric vehicle future," Brown said in a prepared statement.

While the Perea bill provides funding for the development of hydrogen stations, it also repeals the California Air Resources Board's authority to require oil refiners to ensure the availability of hydrogen fueling stations once a certain number of vehicles are on the road. The Sierra Club objected to stripping the air board of that authority, according to a legislative analysis.

Brown also signed Assembly Bill 266, by former Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Woodland Hills, and Senate Bill 286, by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, extending by four years, to 2019, allowances for certain clean air vehicles to use carpool lanes regardless of how many people are in the car.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters at an event in San Francisco on Sept. 13, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders


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