The House of Representatives is considering expanding government-led research into fuel efficient vehicle technology while increasing research dollars for auto parts suppliers, the Star Tribune reports. The expansion would boost funding for the auto industry, helping the industry meet tougher fuel economy standards and potentially creating more green jobs.
The bill would allow the Department of Energy (DOE) to spend up to $550 million per year (up to $2.9 billion over five years) on research into and development of advanced technology for fuel-efficient vehicles (and their component parts). (In a separate proposal, the administration moved Tuesday to raise gas mileage standards by 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 while linking fuel economy to greenhouse gas emissions.) The $550 million sum would be an addition to the $25 billion approved last year to help the auto industry equip itself for greater fuel efficiency.
The bill would promote collaboration between the government and companies and universities (to conduct research) as well as the construction of fuel efficient vehicles. Therefore, if approved, the bill would likely promote green job growth.
The House was scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday. If it approves the bill, Congress is expected to provide funding for its programs at a later date.