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Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Bill to Establish Auto Battery Recharging Stations at Capitol, at No Cost to Taxpayers

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

A bipartisan group of senators today introduced legislation that would allow the Senate to continue its leadership of the country toward a clean-energy future by establishing automotive battery recharging stations at parking lots in the Capitol complex at no net cost to the federal government. A copy of the bill as introduced is available here. [PDF]

The bill, which was introduced today by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.),Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), would authorize the Architect of the Capitol to establish battery recharging stations for privately-owned vehicles in parking areas under the jurisdiction of the Senate, at no expense to taxpayers. Users of the charging stations would pay fees sufficient to cover the costs associated with building and maintaining the stations.

"Passage of this legislation will be an important statement of leadership from the Senate," said Sen. Carl Levin. "It will provide an example to other employers of how they can support both the needs of their employees and our national interest in energy security."

"This bill is one way the Senate can promote greater use of energy-efficient, electric vehicles, and we're doing it at no cost to the taxpayer," said Sen. Charles Schumer.

"Washington needs to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk on clean energy," said Sen. John Kerry. "We're stuck in this crazy period where congressmen boast about bringing back plastic forks to the House cafeteria because they're against recycling and composting. That'snuts. Instead, we should be taking steps like this so Washington leads by example. The clean energy innovation we need right now will shape our global competitiveness, so let's do the small and big things that are needed to lead."

"This legislation will allow the Senate to lead by example and protect taxpayers from bearing the costs," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "It strikes the type of balance that we should strive for in promoting the deployment of electric vehicles."

"Providing access to recharging is a key component to enabling widespread use of electric vehicles -- that hold great promise for reducing our reliance on oil. This would allow the Capitol to be a small part of the solution by giving employees an option that is more environmentally sustainable and enhances our energy security," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

"Electric vehicles will be a key strategy to reduce our use of overseas oil," said Sen. Jeff Merkley. "We must take steps to make it easier for Americans to use this new technology and that can start here at our nation's Capitol. Driving electric cars will help employees lower their fuel costs and America lower its oil imports, and Congress is showing how other employers can speed adoption of electric vehicles."

The bill is part of a government-wide effort to support the electric revolution in transportation, which will help our country economically, protect our environment, and enhance our national security. President Obama has set goals to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and, by the same year, to allow the government to only purchase alternative-energy vehicles for its fleet.

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