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NY takes state lead proposing $10M grants for plug-in hybrid development

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  • Felix Kramer
    $10 million in competitive grants to companies to develop flex-fuel hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies. plus, as noted below, $20M for cellulosic ethanol
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2006
      $10 million in competitive grants to companies to develop flex-fuel
      hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies.
      plus, as noted below, $20M for cellulosic ethanol and $10M for
      lightweighting vehicles.
      (Albany Business Review and AP stories, each has different details)

      The Business Review (Albany) - 4:54 PM EST Monday
      Pataki to propose funding for Malta fuel research lab
      Eric Durr

      Funding for a $24 million alternative fuel research laboratory in
      Malta, N.Y., as well as a tax credit to companies that make renewable
      fuel, and a 10 percent state Thruway toll discount to operators of
      hybrid fuel vehicles will be included in the state budget package New
      York Gov. George Pataki is releasing on Jan. 17.

      Another idea calls for encouraging the purchase of energy-efficient
      appliances by suspending the sale tax on "Energy Star" certified
      products for a pair of two-week periods. Similar sales-tax free
      periods have been used in the past to encourage targeted consumer spending.

      These initiatives and others are part of a plan to reduce New York's
      dependence on imported energy and position the state as a center of
      renewable energy research, according to the governor's office.

      "New York State must continue our efforts to increase energy
      efficiency and the use of clean and renewable fuels so that we can
      reduce our dependence on imported energy," Pataki said in a written statement.

      Highlights of the plan include:

      * The creation of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Research Lab by
      the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the
      Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) at the Saratoga
      Technology and Energy Park in Malta. The $24 million state-of-the-art
      laboratory will conduct research and testing of new and improved
      fuels, batteries and pollution-control devices, including plug-in
      hybrids, hydrogen vehicles, renewable fuels, emerging distributed
      generation, and thermally-activated technologies;
      * Eliminating all state taxes on renewable automotive fuels.
      These include the E85 ethanol/gasoline mix and B2 biodiesel mixes.
      These taxes currently cost consumers about 40 cents per gallon.
      * Provide grants of up to $50,000 to encourage gas stations to
      dispense E85 and B20 fuels.
      * Direct the New York State Thruway Authority stations to add 27
      pumps for E85 and B20 fuels.
      * Create a $20 million program, administered by the Department
      of Agriculture and Markets, to develop a pilot cellulose ethanol
      plant in New York. Fuel would be made from grass, agricultural
      residues and pulp and paper mill wastes.
      * Direct the New York Power Authority to provide $50 million to
      private sector power generators who host research and development of
      clean coal technologies to reduce CO2 emissions.
      * Provide a $2,000 personal income tax credit to people who
      purchase new hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles. This would take $5
      million out of the state's revenue pool in 2006 through 2007.
      * Create new High Occupancy Vehicle lanes for alternative fuel vehicles.
      * Provide $10 million in grants, administered by NYSERDA, to
      developers of flex-fuel and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which would
      allow charging from the power grid at night.
      * Provide competitive grants totaling $10 million to promote
      research and manufacturing of lightweight car parts, which will
      reduce vehicle weight and improve mileage.
      * Create a $5 million grant program, run through NYSERDA, to
      promote the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
      * Allow clean energy companies to qualify for Empire Zone
      benefits, even if they are not in a zone.
      * Give consumers who purchase and install high-efficiency
      heating equipment an income tax credit of up to $500.


      Pataki: Hybrid car owners to get tax break, perks

      Associated Press Writer

      January 16, 2006, 4:05 PM EST

      ALBANY, N.Y. -- The rising number of buyers of hybrid and alternative
      fuel automobiles would get a tax break, a map of alternative fuel
      filling stations and access to some priority traffic lanes under Gov.
      George Pataki's proposed state budget.

      The wide ranging energy proposals, including tax breaks for heating
      costs, will be part of Pataki 2006-07 budget proposal on Tuesday.
      They address his goals of cleaning New York's air while reducing
      dependence on "terror-promoting foreign oil."

      The governor's budget proposal to the Legislature is scheduled to be
      delivered Tuesday, starting the usually contentious budget
      negotiations with legislative leaders.

      The energy proposal he released Monday seeks to provide incentives
      for consumers to use cleaner fuels, as well as funding for research
      to make cleaner, lighter automobiles. It is Pataki's last budget to
      try to burnish environmental and fiscal conservative credentials
      nationwide as he considers a run for president in 2008. Several
      proposals encourage the use of ethanol, an agriculture-based fuel for
      automobiles that would appeal to farmers in New York and the key
      presidential primary state of Iowa.

      The package of energy-related bills would also provide home heating
      tax credits and encourage development of so-called clean coal-burning plants.

      "My plan will encourage the development of more new and more
      energy-efficient technologies, bolster the production and use of
      renewable fuels, and help to reduce the high energy cost burdens that
      hurt our families and our economy," Pataki said.

      Jason Babbie, environmental policy analyst for the New York Public
      Interest Research Group, said the package has something for everyone
      to support, and oppose.

      "It's hard see how much impact some of these proposals will have, but
      there's a lot of encouraging aspects to it," Babbie said. "But
      there's one particularly troubling one: The coal proposal."

      Babbie and many environmentalists question whether technology has
      improved enough to cleanly burn America's 250-year supply of coal.
      "It keeps us potentially rooted in the past."

      Another concern for Babbie is the tax credit for buying increasingly
      popular hybrid vehicles, without standards for miles per gallon or
      pollution controls.

      "If you buying a Lexus SUV, I don't know if you need a tax credit,"
      he said. Still, he called Pataki's proposal encouraging and one that
      would have to be embraced for years to come, after Pataki completes
      his third term in December.

      Pataki's proposal include:

      _Renew the $2,000 personal income tax credit for buying a hybrid
      vehicle, which carries a higher costs than traditional models. It
      would cost the state about $5 million in lost revenue.

      _10 percent discount in the E-Z Pass toll program for drivers of
      hybrid and other cars that get at least 45 miles per gallon and meet
      air quality standards.

      _Allow vehicles that average at least 45 mpg and meet air quality
      standards to use often less congested car pool-only lanes in New York
      City and on the Long Island Expressway, even when not car pooling.

      _Home heating tax credit for New Yorkers 65 years old and older with
      incomes up to $75,000. The tax credit could be up to $500.

      _$50 million to help low-income families pay energy bills.

      _A $500 tax credit for replacement or renovation of old home heating systems.

      _Two sales tax-free weeks for the purchase of appliances and air
      conditions that carry the Energy Star tag showing they are energy efficient.

      _Ending state taxes on renewable fuels while creating more filling
      stations for ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels. This could make
      alternative fuels cheaper at the pump than gasoline. Renewable fuels
      would be offered at all 27 state Thruway travel plazas and the state
      would send maps of alternative fuel stations to owners of those vehicles.

      _$20 million would be used to promote "cellulosic" ethanol made from
      paper mill waste, grasses and shrubs to lead to the construction of
      an ethanol manufacturing plant.

      _Construction of an alternative fuel research lab in Saratoga
      County's town of Malta technology and energy park. It would do
      research on fuels, batteries and pollution control technologies.
      Another $10 million program would support research to make lighter
      vehicles and a $5 million program would research hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

      _$10 million in competitive grants to companies to develop flex-fuel
      hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies.

      _Companies that use clean energy will get tax breaks similar to those
      offered in geographic Empire Zones, regardless of where the clean
      company is located.

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
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