Over the past few days I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with a group of over 150 people from all over the nation who share the belief that the U.S. must work towards creating cleaner, domestic transportation options and supporting infrastructure. The Energy Independence Summit hosted by Transportation Energy Partners in Washington D.C. gave GLACC, other Clean Cities coalitions, and stakeholders the opportunity to speak to policymakers about the support that is needed to drive change.
On March 27, I had the opportunity to sit down with the offices of Senator Levin, Congressman Dingell, Congressman Rogers, Congressman Camp, Congressman Walberg, and Congressman Levin to tell them about the work we are doing to deploy clean transportation projects in the State of Michigan. Local initiatives like those in the greater Lansing region are happening all over the U.S. These projects galvanized by Clean Cities coalitions and their stakeholders have the ability to make a cumulative impact on reducing our national dependence on oil, creating a cleaner environment, and creating jobs in the U.S. Making policymakers aware of our successes and barriers is critical to leveling the playing field for alternative fuels and vehicles.
While visiting with policymakers, we asked for support on the following tax credits that have recently expired:
o Tax credit that supports charging, natural gas, propane, and biofuels infrastructure (expired end of 2011)
o Tax credit for sellers of natural gas and propane (expired end of 2011)
o Tax credit for producers of biodiesel and cellulosic biofuels (expired end of 2011)
o Special depreciation allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property (expired end of 2011)
o Tax credit for conversion to plug-in hybrid vehicles (expired end of 2011)
o Tax credit for purchase of alternative fuel vehicles (expired end of 2010)
We also asked that congress maintain funding in FY 2013 for federal programs that support the development of alternative fuels and the deployment of advanced vehicles. Over the past few years, GLACC has received over $2 million from the U.S. EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act Program (DERA) to put new, more efficient school buses on the road and install emission reduction equipment on hundreds of buses and other vehicles. These types of programs are vital to continue the momentum towards creating stable, domestic fuel options while growing the market for new advanced vehicles.
GLACC’s trip to D.C. was successful in spreading awareness of the need for continuous support for long-term investment in alternative and advanced vehicles. We hope to continue this type of outreach to our congressional leaders so they are informed of the impact we are capable of making.