WASHINGTON – The Obama administration’s proposed 2012 budget eliminates or reduces funding for a number of programs, from DERA to fuel cells, and creates a consumer rebate for the purchase of electric vehicles. The cuts include eliminating funding for the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) and the budgets for the Fuels Program, the Fuel Cells Program, the Oil and Gas Research program, and the Unconventional Fossil Technology program.
The administration has stated a serious commitment to electric vehicle technology, with a proposal to transform the existing $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles into a rebate available to consumers at the point of sale; a $200 million program to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure; removal of regulatory barriers to implementing electric vehicle infrastructure; and an increase in support for vehicle technology R&D.
In addition, the administration’s proposed 2012 budget for the EPA include implementing new standards to reduce emissions from cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2012 through 2016, extending that program to model year 2017 and beyond, and creating a similar program to reduce GHGs from medium-and heavy-duty trucks for model years 2014-2018.
With the budget now being sent to Congress for consideration, it will likely undergo major changes as the Republican-controlled House of Representatives pushes for deeper budget cuts.
By Greg Basich