Once upon a time, when dinosaurs ruled the earth (circa the 1980’s) the nation reveled in its superiority over the Russians, if not theoretically conquering the recessionary (energy strapped) 1970’s. During such wacky times, the nation if not our policy makers also did a couple of very stupid things.
What’s new, right?
Well, in terms of energy specifically, it’s nice to say that in a time when we seem to be celebrating fifty year centennials of “rolling back” policy initiatives of all kinds, we appear to be on the brink of a supposedly “progressive” if not “green” watershed that would undo a great deal of the damage done to alt energy during the (sorry to tag this in such a way) Reagan era. Conceived of and supported this time, by the way, by a bunch of ostensible “conservative” if not “Texan” Republicans. Among many others. We won’t tell the former that it’s also the fifty year anniversary of the Freedom Rides this May (only kidding) but maybe the ghosts of civil rights past have come back to steer this bill’s passage (this time) uneventfully to the President’s desk for signature.
The 1980’s, you may recall, was a time when the removal of solar panels from the White House was considered the coup-de-grâce or the nail in the coffin for the “treehuggers” if not “progressives” and Lord help us, “environmentalists.” (There were no “sustainability specialists” in those days – they just worked for the EPA).
This bill amends the tax code of 1986 to rev up the pace of adoption of CNG powered “alt” if not “green” transportation.
H.R. 1380, introduced last week with north of 70 original co-sponsors (and way, way over the centennial mark now) and referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee, undoes a great deal of that damage.
Specifically the bill focuses on heavy duty and fleet vehicles, some of the worst guzzlers on the planet and also the most efficient users of CNG (which in studies to date has been shown to be the best alt fuel for heavier vehicles).
The act essentially creates incentives at all points of the chain to spread the use and refueling infrastructure for CNG – starting with vehicle manufacture and going to tax credits for property to build the pumps.
It also has some very nice give-backs for everyone who buys a CNG fueled vehicle. The heavier the better. But for our purposes, it’s still nice to know that Uncle Sam has a $7,500 tax credit in store just for vehicle purchase on the low end.
What appears to be an even greater incentive for heavy duty fleet operators however, is that apparently, the tax credit can be applied to “converted vehicles,” thus going an even longer way to off-setting if not essentially covering the cost of a retrofit. We see this business alone creating jobs for days at least in the first decade or so of our energy conversion away from petroleum APY (after peak year).
There are a lot of other goodies involved for everyone gung-ho about this particular market niche right now. We encourage those so curious to research the text of the bill online and we of course will be keeping an eye on its journey through the House and Senate this time. This would be apparently the third time the forces behind this bill, starting with T. Boone Pickens, have tried to get this past Congress. It has been repeatedly bundled in the past with larger omnibus environmental and clean energy bills that went south. Hopefully on its own, this time, it will finally pass into law. With this amount of original (bi-partisan) co-sponsors, potentially the Hill may have a very green spring if not year.
This passage of this bill alone, we anticipate, will do unbelievable wonders to spur the overall economy. Nationally. We think it will also have a huge impact on this area in particular.
We hope to be a long and steady passenger on that wave as much as we hope to be a driver of innovation and change ourselves.
For more information about the bill as it travels through the legislative process, along with some articles that savvy readers may recognize, go to here and read all about it.
- Dublin moves toward using natural gas in its vehicles (dispatch.com)
- The Real History of Solar at The White House (greentechsolar.com)
- American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Fuels Momentum of Initiative Supporting Solar-Powered White House (prweb.com)
- Assessing Barack Obama’s record on the environment (guardian.co.uk)
- Will Lack of Funding Dim the Solar Industry? (time.com)
- Which way will Barack Obama turn on solar power? | Suzanne Goldenberg (guardian.co.uk)
- Obama Still Hasn’t Put Up Those Solar Panels on the White House Roof … (treehugger.com)
- With One Week To Go, Will the White House Keep Its Promise to Install Solar Panels? (treehugger.com)
- White House Misses Solar Panels Deadline (newser.com)