EC: The Energy Debate Must Continue This Fall

Aug 03, 2010, 15:53 ET from Electrification Coalition

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Robbie Diamond, president of the Electrification Coalition (EC), released the following statement after the announcement that the Senate would not act on energy legislation this summer:

"We would like to thank those who fought to end our addiction to oil by supporting provisions to encourage the production and deployment of electric vehicles. Only two weeks ago, the Senate Energy Committee approved an electrification bill by an overwhelming, bipartisan 19-4 vote. Conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, House members and Senators, mayors and governors, and the White House have all come out in favor of electrification. We should give a full and fair debate to those energy ideas that are controversial, but electrification of transportation is not controversial. The electrification of our cars and trucks remains the best way to fundamentally deal with the dangers posed by oil dependence. If the United States electrified half of its cars and light trucks, we could reduce petroleum consumption by almost five million barrels a day—roughly equivalent to the entire amount we import from OPEC nations today. Electrification represents a real solution and a bipartisan consensus, and Congress should commit to passing it immediately upon their return in September."

On May 27, Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate introduced legislation designed to advance the wide-scale deployment of electric vehicles and to develop the infrastructure needed to support them. The Senate bill, entitled the "Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010" was introduced by Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The House legislation, entitled the "Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010," was cosponsored by House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA). A version of the legislation was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on an overwhelming bipartisan 19-4 vote on July 21. The proposal, supported by nearly $4 billion in authorizations, was then included in the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act, unveiled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on July 27.

The legislation echoes recommendations put forward by the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale in order to combat the economic, environmental, and national security dangers caused by our nation's dependence on petroleum. The EC's Electrification Roadmap, released in November 2009, proposed a set of policies in which geographic areas would compete to be selected as electrification deployment communities: specific areas in which targeted, temporary financial incentives are employed so that all of the elements of an electrified transportation system are deployed simultaneously.

SOURCE Electrification Coalition