The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation promoting the development of hybrid heavy-duty trucks, with $16 million devoted to each of the next three fiscal years. The bill has been sent to the Senate.
H.R. 6323, the Heavy Hybrid Truck Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 2008—introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)—encourages hybrid research for trucks by offering manufactures grants to build, test, and eventually sell hybrid heavy duty trucks. In addition, the bill encourages the Department of Energy (DOE) to expand its advanced energy storage technology research to include hybrid trucks.
"H.R. 6323 is an example of a better approach for achieving energy independence,” Rep. Sensenbrenner said. “Cap and Tax programs will increase our energy costs. Worse, they will have little effect on climate change. When gas prices reached record highs, Americans responded. Our gas consumption fell. Lower demand should have caused gas prices to follow. Why did prices remain high? Because Asian consumption grew. We drove less. They drove more. Cap and Tax will have the same result. We'll emit less. They'll emit more.
“Global emissions will continue to rise even as the American share of those emissions falls. H.R. 6323 takes a different approach. It encourages the development of technologies that can reduce fuel consumption and emissions. These reductions will lower the cost of fuel and they can be exported, so they can reduce emissions worldwide."