Saturday, March 10, 2012

President Obama Announces Billion Dollar Plan

Obama Announces Billion Dollar Plan To Increase Infrastructure For Alternative Energy Vehicles. National Association of Manufacturers National Manufacturing Daily Press Brief 3/8/2012 The Detroit Free Press (3/8, Spangler) reports that, during a visit to a Daimler Trucks North America plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina, "President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed an expanded $1-billion energy initiative that would help 10 to 15 communities across the US develop infrastructure to support alternative fuel vehicles." The Free Press reports, "Unlike a similar plan drawn up previously, the new $1-billion National Community Deployment Challenge to help selected communities invest in necessary infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles will not be tied to electric vehicles, allowing, the White House said, 'communities to determine if electrification, natural gas or other alternative fuels would be the best fit.' The program would support the development of as many as five liquid natural gas corridors where alternative fuel trucks would be able to transport goods without using any gasoline or diesel." Bloomberg News (3/8, Runningen) reports Obama also "proposed expanded tax credits." The President "is asking Congress to make two changes in tax law to coax drivers into less-polluting vehicles. One would raise the tax credit to $10,000 from $7,500 for the purchase of a so- called advanced vehicle. The credit would be applied instantly at the dealership, according to a White House fact sheet." The Detroit News (3/8, Shepardson) adds, "It would also reform the credit for EVs - so it is no longer based on the size of the battery - meaning some plug-ins would qualify for larger credits." Also, the administration "is proposing to spend $1.7 billion to create a new credit to allow commercial truck buyers to get credit for half of the additional costs of buying an advanced-technology vehicle. Under new rules, medium and heavy duty trucks must improve efficiency by about 20 percent by 2018. The government estimates it will provide $49 billion in benefits - but will add $8 billion to the cost of the vehicles." CNNMoney (3/8, Valdes-Dapena) reports, "Mike Levine, spokesman for Ford trucks, pointed out that Ford already has the broadest range of commercial trucks, including vans and large pickups, with natural gas-ready engines. With more demand, he said, Ford is ready to do more with natural gas commercial trucks. Both General Motors and Chrysler Group have announced they will soon be making bi-fuel pickups that can run on both natural gas and gasoline." Portfolio (3/7, Hoover) reports, "Meanwhile, the president once again called for eliminating tax breaks for domestic oil and natural-gas production. That 'would make a bad situation worse by discouraging oil and gas investments in the United States, increasing energy costs, and making us less competitive,' said Dorothy Coleman, vice president of tax and domestic economic policy at the National Association of Manufacturers." Also covering the story are the Wall Street Journal (3/8, Favole, Subscription Publication), Politico (3/8, Epstein, Wolfe), the Cleveland Plain Dealer (3/8, Nieves), The Hill (3/7, Geman) "E2 Wire" blog and other media sources

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