Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) passed a bipartisan amendment on Wednesday out of the House Committee on Science and Technology that advances the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, a critical alternative energy source for the Pacific Northwest.
The amendment was lauded by members on both sides of the aisle as an important step toward providing real solutions for our nation’s energy crisis.
“It is essential that we develop alternative and renewable forms of energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, secure our nation’s energy future, and begin to ease consumers’ pain at the pump,” said Reichert. “My amendment will promote the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and ensure that our nation’s electric power grid is adequately prepared to handle the increasing use of plug-in hybrids.”
Reichert’s amendment establishes a pilot program to promote the widespread use of plug-in hybrids by testing their impact on our nation’s electric power grid. The research would be carried out through the Department of Energy’s National Laboratory System, which could include the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Members on both sides of the aisle were quick to praise the importance of the amendment, as were renewable energy experts from the Pacific Northwest.
“It’s clear to me that use of plug-in hybrids is going to have a large impact on our national electric system, and it’s incumbent upon us to understand what that impact is going to be and how to deal with it, because it offers us an opportunity to use vehicles as a storage mechanism for energy so I applaud the amendment and offer my support,” said Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-CA).
Reichert has also introduced, along with Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA), the Get Real Incentives to Drive Plug-in Act, H.R.589, which would set up a grant program for the further research and development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, provide tax credits for taxpayers who purchase them and a require for them to be integrated into the federal fleet.