NY takes state lead proposing $10M grants for plug-in hybrid development
- $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
(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
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
By MICHAEL GORMLEY
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
"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.
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Felix Kramer fkramer@...
Founder California Cars Initiative
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