Rep Introduces Bill to Bail Out Big Three ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Rep Introduces Bill to Bail Out Big Three

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rep Introduces Bill to Bail Out Big Three

Rep Joe Knollenberg Republican Bloomfield TownshipRepresentative Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Township) has introduced a bill that may aid automakers to the tune of $1.2 billion over five years to help them meet the new fuel economy standards. He's also proposing an over $3 billion rewrite to the annual tax rebates code.

Knollenberg feels the new rules being set by the NHTSA is "like kicking someone when he's down, like throwing an anvil at somebody who's drowning."

Knollenberg wants:

  • $750 million in advanced battery research and development,
  • $50 million to add hydrogen fueling stations
  • $50 million to purchase hydrogen vehicles over three years
  • requiring the EPA to streamline protocols and regulations on biodiesel
  • an interagency group on fuel economy standards
  • a 20% refundable tax credit for R&D costs
The tax credit could add up to $3.2 billion since the automakers spend $16 billion on R&D. But, given the automakers losses, such tax credits may not be a lot of help until they turn profitable again.

Automakers have already praised the bill, which is no surprise given how involved they were in creating it.

"Congressman Knollenberg's proposal would provide critical help to the auto industry as we meet the challenges of moving forward with advanced power trains in the midst of intense global competition," said Charlie Pryde, Director of Government Relations, Ford Motor Company.

Added Robert Babik, Director of Emissions, Environment and Energy for General Motors: "As GM continues to improve vehicles efficiency, reduce oil dependency and reduce environmental impacts, hydrogen infrastructure and advanced battery development are crucial to future innovation. Congressman Knollenberg’s plan will greatly accelerate market acceptance of advanced technology and alternative fuels."

"Expanding the tax credit to cover our research and development on alternative fuels, as Congressman Knollenberg suggests, is one of the most important steps Congress could take," said Fred Hoffman, Director of Government Relations, Chrysler LLC.

Source: Rep. Knollenberg proposes $1.2 billion to aid Detroit's Big Three, Knollenberg Press Release.

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