US Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Pete Domenici (R-NM) introduced legislation to reduce the use of fossil fuels by improving efficiency in vehicles, buildings, home appliances and industrial equipment. Bingaman and Domenici are chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The bill—the Energy Efficiency Promotion Act (S.1115)—sets the goal of reducing gasoline usage by 20% by 2017; by 35% by 2025; and by 45% by 2030. It also requires federal and state fleets of civilian vehicles to reduce petroleum consumption by 30% by 2016.
Other transportation-related provisions of the bill include:
Authorization of $500 million over 10 years for basic research for batteries, and $800 million to transition the basic research to first-of-a-kind batteries the automobile and electric utility industries can use to improve energy storage. Authorization of $1 billion over ten years for four centers to work with the industries to develop advanced manufacturing technologies for batteries to be globally competitive.
Authorization of $60 million for the Department of Energy to research and develop light-weight materials such as advanced carbon composites and light-weight steel alloys for the construction of vehicles.
Amendment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to authorize the Secretary of Energy to issue loan guarantees for facilities for the manufacture of parts for fuel-efficient vehicles.
Authorization of federal awards to manufacturers and suppliers for 30% of qualified investment for incremental costs incurred to re-equip, expand or establish a manufacturing facility to produce advanced technology vehicles.
The bill will be the subject of a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Monday.