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Hybrid car owners protest McDonnell's proposed fee

Thursday - 1/31/2013, 5:53pm  ET

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Hybrid and electric cars lined up in front of the Virginia Capitol to protest Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell's plan to institute a $100 fee on their vehicles. (WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

Hybrid owners outraged by fee proposal

WTOP's Hank Silverberg reports from Richmond, Va.

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RICHMOND, Va. - Hybrid and electric car owners circled the Virginia Capitol to protest a $100 yearly fee that would be placed on their vehicles if Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation plan passes.

On Thursday, a Senate committee reviewed the $3.1 billion transportation package that would eliminate the state's gas tax and impose the $100 fee.

McDonnell called the fee on alternative fuel vehicles a substitute for losses in the federal gas tax when he appeared on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" show this week.

"It's meant to compensate for the federal gas tax that those vehicles do not pay," he said.

Beth Kemler attended the protest to voice her opposition.

"We should be rewarding people for trying to do their part to stop the climate crisis and to lower pollution," she says. "We shouldn't be punishing them with taxes."

Another protestor, Laurel Snowd, says she bought her vehicle to protect the environment.

"I really feel like we should be supporting people who want to do that and not penalizing them, and trying to get more people to buy hybrid cars," she says.

Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow @hsilverbergwtop and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)