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According to the Detroit News, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources is planning to take a closer look at a bill aimed at increasing research and development of advanced battery and other energy-efficiency green technology programs. The Energy Committee, comprised of both Democrats and Republicans, has distinguished itself as among the most nonpartisan in the U.S. Senate according to the website (energy.senate.gov).
The full committee will take testimony on the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2011 from five witnesses this upcoming Thursday. The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act, also know as the green [technology] act, revamps the research and development for vehicle programs at the U.S. Department of Energy. The bill passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate last year; however, the U.S. Senate version of the bill also extends the program for passenger vehicle manufacturers to retool their facilities to increase energy-efficiency for vehicles sold to the medium- and heavy-duty sectors and improves the accessibility to the program for suppliers.
All in all, the bill would increase spending on federal energy-efficiency programs aimed at developing more electric and hybrid-powered vehicles as well as natural gas, hydrogen, battery and weight-reduction green technology. President Barack Obama asked for $588 million for such energy-efficiency research in his 2012 budget proposal released in February. One of the key components of the energy-efficiency legislation would focus development of scalable battery technologies that would allow large hauling trucks to run, eventually, on all electric drivetrains.
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