Today, Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, voted to strengthen our economy and national security by boosting American innovation in alternative energies and fuel efficient vehicle technology. The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act will create the most comprehensive national vehicle research and development program to date, to build on the achievements of this Congress in advancing clean American energy and fuel efficiency. This new program will help us invest in fuel cell technology, a major industry in Connecticut and a source of jobs for the future.
"Our national and economic security are both at risk when we export billions of dollars overseas for oil," said Larson. "By investing in American energy and technology that boosts fuel efficiency, we are creating jobs, rebuilding our economy and protecting our national security. Hydrogen fuel cells are a technology option that can provide power for a wide array of transportation applications. Fuel Cells are a proven technology and already in use today. "
Hydrogen fuel cells are clean and efficient and will allow us to become more energy independent while reducing carbon emissions. In Hartford, the transit department is already proving the benefits of a fuel cell powered bus. The bus emits no pollution and is the emissions--saving equal of removing 77 cars from our roadways
The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act will build on the historic fuel efficiency standards enacted under a Democratic-led Congress in 2007 and our success with the Cash for Clunkers program -- a national program that rewarded Americans who turned in almost 700,000 gas-guzzling and air-polluting older cars for newer, more fuel-efficient models.
"Cash for Clunkers was an enormous success, boosting car sales for the auto industry and reducing car emissions at the same time," said Larson. "Now this bill will spur research to develop new, more efficient cars for American consumers."
Earlier this year, the House also passed an historic clean energy jobs bill that will help the private sector create millions of new American jobs that can't be shipped overseas and help energy-intensive industries transition to a cleaner, more profitable future. It will also allow us to export American technology and innovation to rest of world and cut our oil use by 5 million barrels a day by 2030 -- the equivalent of what we import now from Venezuela and the Middle East.
This week, the Obama Administration also announced new auto fuel economy standards that increase efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help consumers save money at the pump and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.
"Reducing our reliance on foreign sources of energy is part of the broad economic strategy this Congress and President Obama are working to enact," said Larson. "By passing short-term boosts to our economy like Cash for Clunkers, as well as long-term solutions like the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act and our clean energy jobs bill, we are creating jobs in Connecticut and spurring American innovation."
The bipartisan Advanced Vehicle Technology Act is supported by a broad coalition, including labor groups like the United Autoworkers, auto companies such as Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Chrysler and business groups like the National Association of Manufacturers and environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council.