U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) praised the House of Representatives for its speedy passage last evening of H.R. 3246, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act.
"In passing the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act, the House has taken an important step towards putting more environmentally friendly trucks and heavy-duty vehicles on our roads and jobsites," said Biggert, the bill's lead Republican cosponsor. "This vote advances the technologies of the future and builds on existing research infrastructure -- like Argonne National Lab -- to demonstrate and produce more fuel efficient vehicles and heavy equipment. It also helps to create green jobs here at home by strengthening America's position as a manufacturing leader in the field."
H.R. 3246 provides consistent support for research efforts aimed at improving the efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles, including technologies applicable to non-road equipment and other transportation sectors. The bill reauthorizes the Department of Energy's (DOE) vehicle technology program, including approximately $2.85 billion for DOE research activities between fiscal years 2010 and 2014. It is supported by a broad coalition of industry trade organizations and environmental groups.
"Although heavy-duty vehicles are on the road in fewer numbers, they burn more fuel on average and have greater emissions than passenger vehicles," said Biggert, a senior member of the House Science & Technology Committee and former chair of the Energy Subcommittee. "Improving their efficiency will help reduce the cost of major construction and infrastructure projects, and lessen the environmental impact."
Research under the bill also will focus on other heavy and non-road equipment, including construction, industrial, and agricultural equipment.
"Federal investment in advanced vehicle technologies is good for jobs, the environment and our nation's economic strength," said Patrick Charbonneau, vice president of Government Relations at Warrenville-based Navistar, Inc., one of the world's largest truck and diesel engine makers. "This legislation is critical for research and development programs that put people to work, reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, and improve air quality. We thank Congresswoman Biggert for her leadership on this important legislation."
H.R. 3246 passed the House by a vote of 312 to 114 and now awaits Senate consideration.