Diesel Technology Forum Statement on Energy Bill
WASHINGTON Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, issued the following statement today as the House and Senate vote on a final energy bill that will likely make its way to President Bush later this week:
"Congress has recognized the important role clean diesel technology will play in meeting America's future energy and environmental goals. The final energy bill produced by a House-Senate conference includes two key diesel- related provisions: a new national incentive program to encourage clean diesel retrofit and consumer tax credits for the purchase of diesel cars, pick-ups and SUVs. These clean diesel programs will help to continue improvement in America's air quality and will reduce U.S. dependence on petroleum.
"The Diesel Emissions Reduction Amendment (DERA) provides $1 billion over five years to speed the transition to cleaner diesel. It establishes national and state-level voluntary retrofit programs to encourage equipment owners to upgrade their fleets with new clean diesel technology. A broad coalition of environmentalists, public officials and diesel manufacturers agree that DERA represents one of the most significant steps America can take to continue our nation's remarkable clean air progress.
"Congress has acknowledged that both clean diesels and hybrids will help boost U.S. fuel efficiency by making the two technologies eligible for the same advanced-vehicle consumer tax credits. These incentives are an important step in expanding the market for energy efficient vehicles. Thanks in part to tax incentives, there will be nearly 10 hybrid models for sale in the U.S. by the end of the year -- up from only two models in 2001 when Congress first enacted the hybrid incentives. Now that diesel vehicles will be eligible for the same advanced-vehicle credits as hybrids, we -- along with a growing chorus of industry analysts -- expect similar growth in the clean diesel market.
"Americans will find that today's diesel cars and trucks are clean, quiet, fun-to-drive and achieve 20 to 40 percent greater fuel economy than gasoline- powered equivalents. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a 30 percent penetration of clean diesel technology in the U.S. car, truck and SUV market by 2020 would reduce net crude oil consumption by 350,000 barrels per day."
The Diesel Technology Forum represents manufacturers of engines, fuel and emissions control system. For more information, visit http://www.dieselforum.org.