Legislation will help reduce American dependence on foreign oil, increase domestic security and create American jobs

Posted on July 22, 2010

The “Promoting Electric Vehicle Act of 2010,” approved in Committee 19-4, includes initiatives to increase the introduction of electric cars and trucks throughout the country, significantly reducing gas consumption and creating domestic jobs.

“At a time when consensus in the Senate is rare, the overwhelming and bipartisan support for the electric vehicle bill is a significant win for smart energy policy. The passage of this bill out of the Senate Energy Committee puts us on the path to electrifying our nation’s car fleet,” Dorgan said. “I’ll continue pushing my other colleagues in the Senate to endorse this bill, which will help us break our addiction to foreign oil while boosting the economy by putting more electric vehicles on U.S. roads.”

“Our goal should be to electrify half our cars and trucks within 20 years, which would reduce our dependence on oil by about a third, from about 20 million to about 13 million barrels a day,” Alexander said. “Republicans and Democrats agree that electrifying our cars and trucks is the single best way to reduce our dependence on oil, and the fact that 13 Democrats and six Republicans supported this bill in the Energy Committee shows that the Senate can pass this bill as a good, bipartisan step forward to reduce our dependence on oil.”

“It is outstanding to see bipartisan support for trading in the dirty, expensive fuels of the 19th century for the clean, efficient fuels of the 21st century,” Merkley said.  “The bottom line is that electric vehicles save families money on fuel, cause less pollution, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  I’m proud to partner with Senators Dorgan and Alexander in the drive toward a stronger America.”

If passed by the Congress and signed into law, the bipartisan “Promoting Electric Vehicle Act of 2010” would create “deployment communities” across the country, where targeted incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure systems would help demonstrate rapid market penetration and determine what “best practices” would be helpful for nationwide deployment of electric vehicles. The goal is to put the nation on a path to electrify half its cars and trucks by 2030, which if achieved, would cut U.S. demand for oil by about one-third.

Currently, the U.S. transportation sector is 95 percent reliant on petroleum and accounts for more than two-thirds of total national petroleum consumption. The U.S. imported more than 60 percent of its oil in 2008 at a cost of some $380 billion – or nearly 60 percent of the total trade deficit.

Senator Dorgan is a senior member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee and chairs the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. Senators Alexander and Merkley are members of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.