Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY12 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. As part of the Homeland Security bill, the Committee passed an amendment to add $1 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief fund, offset by reducing funding from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program at the Department of Energy.
Below is a statement about the potential ATVM funds reduction from Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) President Brian Wynne:
The Department of Energy loan program plays an essential role in helping manufacturers build advanced fuel-efficient vehicles and components in the US The program is already creating jobs in the US manufacturing sector and is vital to ending US dependence on foreign oil and boosting the domestic economy.
The House FY12 Homeland Security Appropriations bill contains a provision that would undermine this important and effective program. While we agree that providing disaster assistance is a moral and national imperative, the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program is accelerating advanced vehicle production and adoption, which benefits consumers, workers, and the nation. We should not gut one worthy program to offset another.
With gas prices at $4 per gallon, it is clear that Americans need affordable alternatives to help ease the pain at the pump. Electric drive vehicles offer compelling economic benefits to consumers. The ATVM program loans leverage private funds and bring the nation greater energy security, a stronger economy and a cleaner environment. EDTA looks forward to working with Congress as it further considers this issue.