Friday, December 15, 2006

Congressional Letter for Plug-ins

Felix Kramer of CalCars reports that this week, in the first letter of its kind, 17 Senators and 21 Representatives from both sides of the aisle wrote to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Office of Management and Budget Director Robert Portman, urging that the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request include at least $90M in funding for Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs). (See full text & signatories below.)

In the Senate, support extends from the far-right (Brownback) to the moderate-left Barack Obama. In the House, we see Southern Republican Conservatives, Democratic hawks and progressives lining up in an unusual alliance. As Sherry Boschert concludes in the final chapter of her new must-read book, plug-in cars have a role to play in "Bridging a Divided America."

Did your Congressional representatives sign the letter? If so, send them a letter of support for this action. If not, write to inform them about it and ask for their support for plug-in hybrids.

Dear Secretary Bodman and Director Portman

As you prepare the President's Fiscal Year 2008 budget request, we urge you to include adequate funding for Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). Specifically we hope the President will request at least $90 million of funding for PHEVs including $45 million for advanced batteries, $20 million in PHEV analysis, system modeling and component study, $20 milliion in support of a pending executive order for demonstration vehicles (light- and medium-duty), and $5 million under the joint flex-fuel/hybrid vehicle commercialization initiative(section 706 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005).

As you know, PHEVs promise to significantly reduce our nation's dependence on oil while saving consumers hundreds of dollars at the pump each year and greatly reducing vehicular pollution and greenhouse gasses. The 2005 Energy Policy Act laid the framework for beginning to reduce oil dependence through a next generation of vehicles. A financial commitment from the federal government is vital if we are to see PEHVs on the road over the next few years.

Thanks for your consideration

Senators Evan Bayh, Sam Brownback, Joe Lieberman, Norm Coleman, Ken Salazar, Richard G. Lugar, Barack Obama, Orrin Hatch, Debbie Stabenow, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Maria Cantwell, Herb Kohl, Dianne Feinstein, Christopher Dodd, Carl Levin, Olympia Snowe

Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Jack Kingston, Bart Stupak, Lee Terry, Jay Inslee, Roscoe G. Bartlett, Bobby L. Rush, John Campbell, Tammy Baldwin, Judy Biggert, Tom Lantos, Mike Ross, Maurice D. Hinchey, Peter A. DeFazio, Howard L. Berman, Linda Sanchez, Lloyd Doggett, Rahm Emanuel, Sandy M. Levin, Allyson Y Schwartz, Doris O. Matsui

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