Gang of Ten Reveals Legislation

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 12 Sep 2008 18:44:00 GMT

At Climate Progress, Joe Romm reviews the full text of the draft “Gang of Ten” energy legislation, now unofficially co-sponsored by ten Democrats and ten Republicans. The original ten senators are conservative and industry-friendly. Highlights of Romm’s review:

  • Title II makes clear that the “consumer tax credits for advanced vehicles” is focused on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), see Section 202 (page 17). The tax credit is “$2,500, plus $400 for each kilowatt hour of traction battery capacity in excess of 4 kilowatt hours” with a cap at $7,500. A midsized PHEV might consume 0.3 to 0.4 kilowatt-hours per mile when it runs on electricity (yes, Toyota may well do better than that, but I doubt GM will).

    So a PHEV20 (one with a 20-mile range running only on electricity) might have a battery capacity 7 kwh, and get a $3700 tax credit. The Chevy Volt is supposed to be 40-mile electric range and get about $6500.

  • Section 254 (page 114) has a geothermal heat pump tax credit up to $2000 and Section 282 (page 168) has a 2-year accelerated depreciation period for geothermal systems.
  • Title IV, Subtitle B “Coal-to-Liquid” (page 191) is a tad confusing, but it doesn’t look to me like it’s going to jumpstart the industry, since it requires carbon capture and storage and requires lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from liquid coal to be no greater than that from conventional petroleum — a very high bar to jump.
  • Subtitle C “Nuclear Power” (page 203) has a bad provision that says the Secretary of Energy “shall begin construction of a spent fuel recycling research and development facility not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.” Recycling is of course a euphemism for reprocessing.
  • Subtitle D “Tax Provisions” (page 218) has a short section on enhanced oil recovery that I think is the worst provision in the bill.

Download the full draft.

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