Aug 6, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
On Saturday, the House passed an energy bill containing substantial provisions involving plug-in vehicles. If these pass, carmakers will have enormous incentives to build plug-in car production facilities, and early buyers could have some or all of the additional up-front costs paid for them.
Many provisions were drawn from the bi-partisan DRIVE Act developed by Set America Free and many others. Yet to be seen is what happens when this bill goes to conference with the Senate's very different energy bill. Below we include small sections of excellent long reports from the San Francisco Chronicle and Green Car Congress.
House passes energy bill
'Momentous' measure favors cleaner fuels, scraps tax breaks for oil
and gas companies
Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Sunday, August 5, 2007
This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
(08-05) 04:00 PDT Washington -- The House approved an energy bill Saturday that would steer the nation toward cleaner fuels and greater conservation, including a requirement that all electric utilities produce 15 percent of their power from wind, solar, biomass or other renewable sources by 2020.
The bill also offers new tax credits for consumers to buy plug-in electric hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles as well as low-interest loans and grants for consumers to buy energy efficient appliances and install solar panels and geothermal pumps at their homes.
But sponsors of the measure countered that every state has access to some kind of renewable energy - whether solar, biomass, wind, geothermal or hydropower. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., noted that most of America is better located for solar power than Germany, which is rapidly installing solar panels.
"We know this is an achievable goal," Inslee said. Sponsors also argued that 24 states already have renewable electricity standards, and California is on track to produce 20 percent of its energy from renewables by 2010.
The renewable energy measure ultimately passed 220-190.
A comparison of highlights in the energy legislation passed Saturday
by the House and the bill approved by the Senate in June. The two
will have to be merged.
Source: Associated Press
E-mail Zachary Coile at zcoile@....
-- House calls for $16 billion in new taxes on oil companies over 10 years by removing several of the industry's tax breaks. Senate bill has no tax provisions.
-- House calls for incentives to build biomass factories and for research into cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel. Senate has similar provisions. -- House requires electric utilities to produce 15 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources. Senate has no such requirement.
-- House has new efficiency standards for appliances, lighting and buildings, and creates bonds to be used by cities and counties for energy conservation. Senate has appliance and lighting efficiency standards.
AUTOMOBILE FUEL ECONOMY
-- House bill has nothing on automobile fuel economy. Senate bill increases auto mileage requirement to 35 mpg by 2020 for cars, SUVs and small trucks, about a 40 percent increase.
-- House bill has no mandate on ethanol use as a replacement for
gasoline. Senate requires a sevenfold increase in ethanol use to 36
billion gallons a year by 2022.
-- House provides tax credits for installing E-85 pumps. Senate
requires half of new cars manufactured by 2015 be capable of running on E-85.
-- House provides tax breaks, subsidies for research into better batteries for plug-in hybrid cars and up to $4,000 tax credit for purchasing such cars. Senate provides loan guarantees and other assistance for advanced diesel and hybrid battery technology.
-- House calls for an assessment of areas for underground carbon dioxide storage and calls for developing large-scale storage demonstration projects. Senate has similar provision.
House Passes Energy Bill; Transportation Focus on Biofuels, Mass
Transit and Plug-Ins
Green Car Congress 5 August 2007
On Saturday, the US House of Representatives passed its version of an Energy Bill (H.R.3221): "The New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act."
The bill, which integrates efforts from eleven House committees, establishes a wide range of long-term incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation initiatives, paid for primarily by the repeal of about $16 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies. It establishes a renewable power standard requiring all electric utilities to produce 15% of their power from wind, solar, biomass or other renewable sources by 2020. The bill does not address vehicle fuel economy.
On the transportation side, H.R.3221 focuses on three primary areas: biofuels, including biogas and biogas hybrids and plug-in; mass transit; and support for plug-in hybrids.
Title IX (Energy and Commerce), Subtitle E (Advanced Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles and Components). This section provides incentives for the conversion of vehicles to plug-ins as well as for the advancement of the enabling technology. Among the provisions are:
- A program to provide guarantees of loans by private institutions for the construction of facilities for the manufacture of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems that are developed and produced in the United States, including advanced lithium ion batteries and hybrid electrical system and component manufacturers and software designers.
- A competitive program to provide grants on a cost-shared basis to State governments, local governments, metropolitan transportation authorities, air pollution control districts, private or nonprofit entities to carry out projects to encourage the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles or other "emerging" electric vehicle technologies.
- Grants to support 5 demonstration programs to convert at least 1,000 vehicles in each program to plug-in hybrids, with the intention of determining how best to integrate plug-ins into the electric power grid and into the overall electricity infrastructure.
- Incentives for medium- and heavy-duty hybrids,including hydraulic hybrids.
- Inclusion of electric drive in the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
- A study of the benefits of plug-in hybrids and electric drive vehicles.
Title X (Tax Provisions), Subtitle B (Conservation), Part 1 (Transportation). This section establishes tax credits for the purchase of plug-in hybrids.