Contact: Christine McCarty
Smith Introduces Bipartisan Plug-In Hybrid Bill
Apr 30, 2007 -
Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) and fellow Austin Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10) today introduced bipartisan legislation for increasing the use of plug-in hybrid vehicles. The “Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Act of 2007” will encourage the production and create awareness of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
“Americans are concerned about high gas prices, our dependence on foreign oil and global warming,” said Congressman Smith. “Plug-in hybrid cars have the potential to address all three problems.”
"This is the kind of common sense legislation the Congress and nation need to support," stated Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas). He went on to say, "From reasons ranging from national security to our environment, the United States must cut back on its dependence on foreign oil and find new and better ways to sustain our nation`s need for power. I thank Congressman Smith for this legislation and for his leadership efforts on this important issue."
The legislation proposes $250 million in annual funding (2008-2012) for research and development of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Additionally, the legislation calls for $50 million in annual funding (2008-2012) to carry out a pilot program for deployment of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
“A plug-in vehicle may be driven up to 100 miles using one gallon of gas and may achieve nearly zero emissions during stop-and-go driving,” said Smith.
Other co-sponsors of the bill include; Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN).
The proposed legislation offers grants to state and local authorities to help them acquire plug-in hybrid vehicles. These grants will be used to carry out demonstrations and commercial applications of plug-in vehicles.
The Austin City Council and Austin Energy are leading a national campaign called “Plug-In Partners” to demonstrate to automakers that a market exists today for plug-in hybrids. They are enlisting other cities to join their call for the production of plug-in hybrid cars.
More than 500 entities representing 41 states have joined the Plug-In Partners campaign.
“This legislation allows Austin and other cities to establish a partnership to focus on plug-in hybrid technology,” concluded Smith.
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