Exclusive: Gang-of-10, Part 5, the bill’s full text

I have uploaded the entire 233-page (!) “Discussion Draft” of the bipartisan bill here. I have blogged on many of the main elements in the summary (see links below). But as you can imagine in a bill this long, a lot of provisions are not in the summary.

Some of the provisions are fluff, like the entire 12-page Title I — “National Commission on Energy Independence.” Just what we need, another commission.

Some provisions are useful clarification. As I hoped, 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.

Her are a few more highlights and lowlights of the draft bill:

  • 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. (For details on this great technology, see “The ‘other’ geothermal grew 33% in 2006.”)
  • 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 (see analysis at “Congress should say NO to coal-to-diesel“).
  • 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, a terrible idea for many reasons (see “The Nukes of Hazard“).

Finally, Subtitle D “Tax Provisions” (page 218) has a short section on enhanced oil recovery that I think is the worst provision in the bill, which I will make the subject of Part 6.

Related Posts:

2 Responses to Exclusive: Gang-of-10, Part 5, the bill’s full text

  1. Costa says:

    Thanks for posting these details, and keep them coming. That is a great start for a PHEV credit, and I’m glad they are proposing a graduated approach based on battery capacity. Remember that most PHEVs will likely be designed to leave 20% of the battery charge unused (or an 80% depth of discharge), to help prolong battery life. So if you want 20 miles of EV range getting 0.3 kWh/mile, you need 6 kWh for travel and another 1.5 kWh to leave 20% of the battery unused, so a total of 7.5 kWh. With installed batteries costing $1000-$2000/kWh, maybe another 20% isn’t a big deal on a small PHEV, but if a 40-mile Volt needs another 3 kWh of capacity (12 for travel, 15 total), then that starts to add up. On the supply side, we should be thinking about innovation and investment policies to help bring down the cost of batteries. On the demand side, we need to start talking about a comprehensive bundle of value for PHEVs- federal tax credit, state sales tax exemption (or deduction) and maybe some incentives such as some low-cost, low-carbon charging from utilities (as being done in Portland, which is providing free electricity, at least in the test phase) if accelerating PHEV adoption is the goal.

  2. Cyril R. says:

    Looks like an excellent proposal. I’d make the rebate even bigger, considering the importance of plugin-hybrids, but then that may not be politically achievable…