A recent Department of Energy Inspector General audit of two DOE facilities, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville), determined the agency purchased alternative fuel vehicles at a premium without doing an assessment of vehicle needs or a determination of alternative fuel availability.
This week the House will take up a bill that aims to reduce the budget allocation for federal fleets and further reduce the total number of vehicles in Uncle Sam’s garage.
According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) the US federal government has (as of 2011) 449,000 vehicles (660,000 if you include Postal vehicles) on hand (image above).
Romney picks Ryan! EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it! Congressman Paul Ryan to be GOP VP candidate!
That announcement sent members of Congress, pundits and special interest groups to work drafting various scenarios of Ryanmageddon. One of those members, Representative Henry Waxman, Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, shared his thoughts in an August 13, 2012 letter to his fellow committee members here.
Rep Waxman’s letter touched on multiple aspects of how Rep Ryan’s budget, The Path to Prosperity could impact green spending, including the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program.
In his letter Rep Waxman states:
“The Ryan budget would halt DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program and loan guarantee programs authorized under sections 1703 and 1705 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.”
And further :
“In February 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report assessing the program’s performance. GAO concluded: “In making its first loans, the ATVM program has injected significant funds into the U.S. automotive industry for promoting improved fuel efficiency of conventional vehicles and encouraging the development of vehicles with newer technologies that rely less, or not at all, on petroleum.”
Representative Waxman is correct. GAO did make that statement in their report. But does a statement of fact roughly translated to ‘Yes, the US has spent money on auto industry programs’ constitute success and justify continued funding?
The very next statement in the GAO report says that while the program was ‘injecting significant funds into the U.S. auto industry’, DOE had [Read more...]
Today the Department of Energy proposed a rule titled “Alternative Fuel Transportation Program (AFTP); Alternative Fueled Vehicle Credit Program Modification and Other Amendments”.
This rule will allow fleets to get credit(s) for aquiring electric vehicles and investing in other emergining fuel-saving technologies to meet their mandated fuel reduction standards imposed by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992).
According to DoE [Read more...]
Today the House will continue consideration of the Energy and Water Appropriations Act of 2012. This is where Uncle Sam tells the Department of Energy where and how it can spend its money. What does that mean for the automotive world? Money and lots of it! Most of the money for auto makers comes in the form of loans and grants.
Conservatives, acting on behalf of their constituents, have adopted a slash-and-burn approach to funding agencies this year. The amendments are a smorgasbord of “reduce this” and “defund that” measures. Like previous appropriations considered this year, the Energy and Water Appropriations Act will be considered under an open rule. In other words, instead of a small number of members hiding behind the Rules Committee gavel dictating what should and shouldn’t be brought to the floor, every amendment germane to the legislation will be given time on the floor for debate and consideration. Now that I’ve given you a quick piece of parliamentary procedures – let’s talk Benjamins!
The total piece of legislation comes in at just over $30 billion buckaroos, which is $5.9b less than El Presidente Obama has asked for, all of which comes directly from DOE. A summary of the bill with funding tables can be found here. Below are provisions of interest to the automotive world at large: [Read more...]