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Waxman/Markey Bill Accelerates Infrastructure and Build-out for Plug-Ins, Calls for Harmonization of Motor Vehicle GHG Standards; 3% of Emissions Allowances for Cap-and-Trade Go to Auto Industry

The major climate and energy bill introduced last week by House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Chairman Henry Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey—H.R. 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act—which establishes a cap-and-trade program also contains a number of provisions for accelerating the deployment of a vehicle charging infrastructure and the manufacturing of plug-in electric drive vehicles.

The bill also calls for the harmonization of Federal and California motor vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards. In addition, the bill allocates 3% of the emissions allowances (under the cap-and-trade scheme defined in the bill) through 2017 and 1% from 2018 through 2025 be allocated for investments in electric vehicles and other advanced automobile technology and deployment.

The bill is structured into four primary titles: Title I: Clean Energy; Title II: Energy Efficiency; Title III: Reducing Global Warming Pollution (the cap-and-trade bill); and Title IV: Transitioning to a Clean Energy Economy (which also includes a section on adapting to climate change).

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. Under Title I, the bill amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to mandate that each electric utility develop a plan to support the use of plug-in electric vehicles, including heavy-duty plug-ins.

The plan can include deployment of charging stations; battery exchange and fast charging infrastructure; market triggers for deployment of infrastructure; and other similar elements determined necessary by each state to support plug-in electric drive vehicles.

The bill charges state regulatory authorities and non-regulated utilities to ensure that the charging infrastructure is “interoperable with products of all auto manufactures to the extent possible” and to consider adopting minimum requirements for the deployment of the charging infrastructure.

The state regulatory authorities and the non-regulated utilities are to establish protocols cols and standards for integrating plug-in electric drive vehicles into an electrical distribution system, including Smart Grid systems and devices.

They are also to include, to the extent feasible, the ability for each plug-in electric drive vehicle to be identified individually and to be associated with its owner’s electric utility account, regardless of the location that the vehicle is plugged in, for appropriate billing for any electricity required to charge the vehicle’s batteries as well as any crediting for electricity provided to the electric utility from the vehicle’s batteries (vehicle-to-grid, V2G). Time-of-use pricing is also to be considered plug-in electric drive vehicles to contribute 5 to meeting peak-load and ancillary service power needs.

Large scale electrification program. Title I also directs the Secretary of Energy to establish a program to deploy and integrate plug-in electric drive vehicles into the electricity grid in multiple regions. The goals of the program are:

  • To demonstrate the viability of a vehicle-based transportation system that is not overly dependent on petroleum as a fuel and contributes to lower carbon emissions than a system based on conventional vehicles;

  • To facilitate the integration of advanced vehicle technologies into electricity distribution areas to improve system performance and reliability;

  • To demonstrate the potential benefits of co-ordinated investments in vehicle electrification on personal mobility and a regional grid;

  • To demonstrate protocols and standards that facilitate vehicle integration into the grid; and

  • To investigate differences in each region and regulatory environment regarding best practices in implementing vehicle electrification.

State, Indian tribe, or local governments can apply for financial assistance in furthering the regional deployment and integration into the electricity grid of plug-in electric drive vehicles. These applications may be jointly sponsored by electric utilities, automobile manufacturers, technology providers, car sharing companies or organizations, or 2 other persons or entities.

Under the bill, the Department of Energy can provide financial assistance to be used for:

  • Assisting persons located in the regional deployment area, including fleet owners, in the purchase of new plug-in electric drive vehicles by offsetting in whole or in part the incremental cost of such vehicles above the cost of comparable conventionally fueled vehicles.

  • Supporting the use of plug-in electric drive 14 vehicles by funding projects for the deployment of any of the following:

    • Electrical charging infrastructure for plug-in electric drive vehicles, including battery exchange, fast charging infrastructure, and other services, in public or private locations, including street parking, parking garages, parking lots, homes, gas stations, and highway rest stops.
    • Smart Grid equipment and infrastructure to facilitate the charging and integration of plug-in electric drive vehicles.

  • Other projects as the Secretary determines appropriate to support the large-scale deployment of plug-in electric drive vehicles in regional deployment areas.

Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Manufacturing. Title I of the bill also establishes a program to provide financial assistance to automakers to facilitate the manufacture of plug-in electric drive vehicles. This can include the reconstruction or retooling of facilities for the manufacture of plug-in electric drive vehicles developed and produced in the United States; and the purchase of domestically for the plug-ins.

Advanced technology vehicles. Title I also enables the provision of funding to automakers for up to 30% of the cost of retooling, expanding or establishing manufacturing facilities for advanced technology vehicles, with preference to applications for projects saving the “maximum number of gallons per vehicle.”

Harmonized motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards. Title II of the bill directs the President to set motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards that:

  • Are achievable by the automobile manufacturing companies;

  • To the extent practicable, harmonize CAFE standards that may be set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Clean Air Act (CAA) standards that may be set by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and standards that have or may be set by the State of California.

  • Achieve at least as much emissions reductions as would be achieved by implementation of the California law AB 1493 (Pavley) if enforced in the State of California and the other States that have adopted the standard; and

  • Do not preempt California’s legal authority to adopt and enforce its own mobile source emissions standards.

The bill amends the Clean Air Act to call for greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty on-road vehicles as well as non-road vehicles and engines, and aircraft.

Each state will be required to submit goals for transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions reductions to the Administrator of the EPA.

Markup on the bill begins on Monday, 18 May.



Andrey Levin

“We're seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point - they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn't ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there's a lot of tundra that's being held down by that ice cap.”
Congressman Henry Waxman, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


Yes Andrey. Let the pols hang themselves. But if you want the REAL lowdown on this Waxman Bill check out what some of the greenest greens are now acknowledging:

Even if this bill passed and Cap N'Trade was fully implemented and we cut GHGs by 80% by the year 2050 - we would have "saved" a total warming of 0.05C!

This is an analysis done with the EPA's own MAGICC: Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change, developed by Dr. Tom Wigley et al, at National Center for Atmospheric Research.

That's the REAL story folks.

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