CONGRESSMAN ROSKAM PUSHES TO CUT CO2 EMISSIONS, REDUCE GAS CONSUMPTION
Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) continued pushing his legislative agenda to develop alternative energy by helping to introduce legislation that establishes a research grant program to accelerate the introduction of technology that will reduce gas use and carbon emissions for buses, long-haul trucks and transit vehicles.
"Commercial vehicles often sit and idle for long periods of time during normal operation, wasting nearly 1.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually," said Roskam. "New ethanol anti-idling power units offer one solution to help ease our nation's dependence on foreign oil. Environmental stewardship and homeland security go hand-in-hand in this important piece of legislation."
Specifically, this bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to make federal funding available for the establishment and operation of an ethanol anti-idling power unit research program. This program will help to facilitate the development of an ethanol-powered solid oxide fuel cell system capable of being retrofitted onto existing vehicles and incorporated into new vehicles designs. The fuel cells will run vehicle systems where an idling engine is currently required, thereby lessening the impact of idling engines.
"This research program is vitally important to the citizens of Illinois' 6th Congressional District," continued Roskam. "The manufacturing industry lies in the heart of my congressional district, where truck traffic is heavy on a daily basis. This legislation delivers incentives to help stimulate economic development in alternative energy sources and technology while allowing the manufacturing and trucking industry to play a role in addressing our energy policies."
The bill would authorize $2.5 million for each of the fiscal years 2009-2011 for eligible grantees. The Des Plaines-based Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is at the forefront of this type of research and development and would be eligible for this grant.
"If transit buses and commercial trucks nationwide adopted this technology, the U.S. could displace over 1 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually," said Bill Liss, GTI's Managing Director for the End Use Sector. "This could lead to emissions reductions of 17 million tons of CO2, 280,000 tons of NOx, and 7,800 tons of particulates. The positive impact on the environment would be tremendous. We are thankful that Congressman Roskam is such a strong advocate of this important work."
Congressman Roskam joined Reps. Tim Johnson and John Shimkus in sponsoring this legislation.