Committee on Science and Technology
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Member Speeches :: September 16, 2009

Chairman Gordon's Floor Speech on H.R. 3246

as prepared for delivery

H.R. 3246, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009, is authored by the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Gary Peters, and co-sponsored by our colleague from Illinois, Ms. Judy Biggert.   This legislation provides a comprehensive authorization for long-term sustained funding of public-private vehicle research, development, demonstration and commercial application activities in the Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Program.

From passenger cars to heavy duty long-haul trucks, we are all aware of the economic, environmental, and strategic importance of diversifying our nation’s vehicle sector through innovation in cleaner and more efficient technologies.

However, the current economic situation has made it all the more difficult for companies to invest in the research and technology development to get us there. Department of Energy programs play an invaluable role in filling this critical gap.

This bill provides a critical foundation of support to ensure U.S. leadership in developing and producing the next generation of advanced vehicle technologies.

The bill instructs the Secretary to continue support of longer-term higher-risk technologies such as hydrogen, while recognizing the importance of research in areas that can deliver drastic improvements in the near term, such as vehicle electrification.

It also makes important investments in areas such as vehicle manufacturing and medium-to-heavy duty vehicles research.  It accomplishes its goals through continued partnership with industry and strengthened DOE coordination with other federal research agencies.

This is a bipartisan bill reported from the Science and Technology Committee by voice vote after incorporating a number of our Republican colleagues’ suggestions.  It follows on recommendations of the National Academies of Science and a diverse group of stakeholders, and is endorsed by the likes of the:

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, GM, Ford, Chrysler, the UAW, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce among many others.

After a very productive and bipartisan process in Committee, I’m looking forward to a constructive floor debate and passage of this very important bill.

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Bart Gordon, Chairman


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