Electric cars get renewed push on Capitol Hill

American Values President Gary Bauer and former Commandant of the Marine Corps General James T. Conway are teaming up in support of electric vehicles.

Bauer and Conway are part of the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and military leaders put together by Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE). SAFE is focused on reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and finding an energy alternative. The council is chaired by FedEx President and CEO Fred Smith and General P.X. Kelley, former Marine Corps Commandant and former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

With pages of statistics and a realistic take on America’s dependence on oil, members of the ESLC lobby elected officials for an effective alternative energy policy. They argue that dependence on oil threatens America’s national and economic security.

The council is currently focused on lobbying elected officials to support the Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act of 2011, sponsored by Republican Rep. Judy Biggert of Illinois and Democratic Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Anna Eshoo of California.

The legislation seeks to solve two of the biggest problems that plague electric vehicle technology: infrastructure and cost to the consumer.

First, the bill sets up a competitive grant program that would be run by the Department of Energy. Ten regions around the country would be selected for funding to develop “deployment communities.” The communities would then use their DOE grant to build the infrastructure needed for electric vehicles.

To incentivize consumers, a minimum of a $2,000 tax credit will be offered. Moreover, an already existing credit for charging infrastructure would be extended, as well as loan support for manufacturers of electric vehicles and the use of advanced batteries in stationary locations.

Essentially, the “development communities” are intended to jumpstart a market demand for electric vehicles, and serve as models for the rest of the country.

A similar version of the bill — Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2011 — was introduced in the Senate by Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

So far, electric vehicles have not caught on in the U.S. in any significant way. Though sales of electric cars like GM’s Volt and Nissan’s Leaf are slowly picking up, sales figures even just two months ago were dismal.

Other members of the ESLC include Adam Goldstein, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean; Admiral Dennis C. Blair, U.S. Navy (Ret.); John Lehman, former Secretary to the U.S. Navy; and Herbert Kelleher, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines.

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  • Scrap Iron

    Let’s convert the presidental limo to all electric and see how BHO likes it.

  • flips

    Car-ownership is for suckers.

    All you who claim to be “free” are really dependent on cheap gas.

    • Waxingeuphoric

      I prefer cheap gas to a hemp fanny-pack filled with bus tokens and patchouli incense. Enjoy the ride flips.

    • nax777

      We depend on cheap water too.
      George I, Bill, George II and Barack have all lead us to today. The era of fear continues and our children are going to grow up with government workers shoving their hands between their legs because this is the America you want and did not grow up in yourself!
      Or is this the kind of national defense that you wish you would have grown up in?
      Too many people or more brain washed by the media than care to admit out of fear! Speak sound bites and wear a leash is the new motto that Dem and Pub supporters live by today.

      I am out of patients and will strive to have words hit like a ton bricks and let the chips fall where they may!

      Replace the powers with citizens that can be immediately removed by citizens and never serve for a life time. We must take control ourselves. Please join with us at Goooh.com you might be able to click on my name. This will take you to my link page that links to Goooh.com, NumbersUSA.com and SBA-list.org.

      P.S. Have you heard of “you cut” @ http://majorityleader.gov/YouCut/

  • SoapyJohnson

    NASCAR pulls the plug on inaugural Chevrolet Volt 400. The story can finally be told … http://placeitonluckydan.com/2011/05/nascar-pulls-plug-on-chevrolet-volt-400/

  • Miguel Saavadera

    This article is so much B.S.!

    24 May 2011 WH press release, signed by Chairman B.O. states: (Within the government) All “fleet’ vehicles of a large size will go away, and all mid-sided and small vehicles will be either flex-fuel, or all electric within 180 days. MANDATORY! A mandatory report also shall be made within 90 days stating why a department or executive can not meet this dead line.

    This mandatory change over is being driven by the WH through its regulatory Czar ~ and the fleet of government vehicles will support Government Motors and Chrysler (also a government controlled entity). Change-over shall be costly, and from a budget and money we do not yet have.

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  • stubob

    Plug-in electric cars run on coal, since most electricity comes from coal. So… to put them in the proper perspective let’s call them “coal cars.” Also, what if I buy a coal car, and then the same government that gave me the incentive to do so decides to ban the burning of coal, or tax it. This will lead to an electricity shortage and higher fuel [electricity] costs or its unavailability. Do I get my money back on the car purchase? What will tax and cap do to the price of operating a coal car? Why should people who don’t buy into this, subsidize those who do? I’m still wondering why gas prices are high [manufactured shortage] and why – even though mercury is bad – we are forced to buy costly breakable mercury-filled light bulbs and bring them into our homes. I suspect hydrogen cars are also coal cars, since it takes energy to produce hydrogen. We could go full circle and produce these alternate fuels by burning oil instead of coal. Extreme environmentalism by any other name – socialism/communism/statism/the Democratic Party [take your pick] – would still smell.

    • stubob

      I’m replying to my own post: Yes Gary Bauer and some of the listed proponents are RINO’s, not Democrats. RINO’s are co-conspirators in using the tax code and deficit spending to make a buck [like Al Gore in the Global Warming scam]. You are not a businessman, if you depend on taxpayer subsidies; you are a parasite at the government trough. You are part of the problem. All news articles on this subject should talk about coal and coal policy.

  • ojfl

    It is too early for a push such as this. The technology is not there yet and electricity is not exactly something that we have in abundance either.