The other day I was surprised to receive a note from Congressman Jay Inslee. Mr. Inslee has been an instrumental proponent of plug-in electric vehicle adoption. Congressman Inlsee writes:
I am thrilled to discover your site. Thanks for spreading the news. I am a Congressman from Seattle who a leading advocate for renewables and clean energy in the House. I have been promoting plug-ins for some time and have had the first success this year with passage of an amendment to the energy bill creating a plug-in demonstration project. This is designed to help prove the reliability of the battery package particularly.
I have also recently co-authored the book “Apollo’s Fire:Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy,” which features a good discussion of plug-ins as well as the budding host of technologies that can grow our economy while tackling global warming. I just met with GM officials at the DC car show about the Volt last week and brought it to Capitol hill to show it to my colleagues some time ago.
As an issue related to the cost of Volt ownership, I asked Mr. Inslee about the current status of tax credits for plug-in cars. He writes:
The road hasn’t ended, and hopefully it won’t be long, for the plug-in hybrid vehicle tax credit.
This December, I won a provision in the House passed energy package that would give consumers a $4,000 tax credit for purchasing one of these next-generation green cars. The Senate came within one vote of overcoming a filibuster of this legislation, but could only muster 59 of the 60 votes needed.
Later in December, Congress approved and the president signed a narrower energy package that did not include tax provisions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that passing the energy tax provisions, including the plug-in tax credit, is one of her top priorities for 2008. And based on how close we came in December, I’m confident the energy tax provisions can be passed in both chambers this year.
I’m also pushing another legislative vehicle for enacting the plug-in tax credit: H.R. 589, my Get Real Incentives to Drive Plug-in Act. This bill includes this tax break for American who buy plug-ins, along with additional research funding, tax incentives for U.S. auto manufacturers that make these vehicles, grant programs for conversion facilities, and a testing facility for plug-in manufacturers.
In other good news, the U.S. Department of Energy has started to support research that could get more plug-in hybrids on the road. In September 2007, the federal agency devoted $17.2 million to the development of plug-in hybrid batteries. It selected five projects in collaboration with the United States Advanced Battery Consortium that are aimed at making plug-in hybrids market ready. This is a small step in the right direction – commercialization of these vehicles. I look forward to taking the next important steps. Chief among them is the plug-in tax credit for consumers.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2008 at 6:39 am and is filed under Financial, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.