ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 29, 2006)
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Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the gentlewoman from Illinois, who is the chairman of the Science Committee's Subcommittee on Energy for yielding to me; and I want to express my appreciation to Mrs. Biggert for assembling this legislation, which will contribute mightily to our energy independence.
H.R. 6203, the Alternative Energy Research and Development Act, incorporates two pieces of legislation that I introduced: the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Act of 2006 and the Solar Utilization Now, or SUN Act, of 2006. They will reduce our Nation's dependence on foreign sources of oil by promoting plug-in hybrid vehicles and the use of solar power.
The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Act establishes a partnership between public and private entities and requires the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program of research and development for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electric drive transportation technology. The goal is to develop a plug-in vehicle that can travel up to 40 miles on battery power alone.
The bill also establishes a pilot program of grants to State and local governments and metropolitan transportation authorities.
Congress has a responsibility to help promote this new technology.
I introduced the SUN Act of 2006 because the answer to much of our energy needs in fact comes up every morning. The goal of this legislation is to make electricity from solar power cost-competitive by 2015. The SUN Act encourages State governments and private industry to team up to apply for Federal grants. Solar power is clean, plentiful, and it generates zero emissions and zero waste.
The Federal Government needs to ensure that the research and development of alternative energy technologies continues. Americans are concerned about high gas prices, our dependence on foreign oil and global warming. This bill addresses those concerns and is good for our energy security, national security and environmental security.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Congresswoman Biggert for taking the lead on these issues and for getting this package to the House floor.
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