IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 6, 2007
Mr. Obama (for himself, Mr. Lugar, Mr. Biden, Mr. Smith, Mr. Bingaman, Mr. Coleman, and Mr. Specter) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
To increase fuel economy standards for automobiles and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Fuel Economy Reform
Congress makes the following findings:
United States dependence on oil imports imposes tremendous burdens on the economy, foreign policy, and military of the United States.
According to the Energy Information Administration, 60 percent of the crude oil and petroleum products consumed in the United States between April 2005 and March 2006 (12,400,000 barrels per day) were imported. At a cost of $75 per barrel of oil, people in the United States remit more than $600,000 per minute to other countries for petroleum.
percentage of these petroleum imports originate in countries controlled by
regimes that are unstable or openly hostile to the interests of the United
States. Dependence on production from these countries contributes to the
volatility of domestic and global markets and the
paid by consumers in the United States.
The Energy Information Administration projects that the total petroleum demand in the United States will increase by 23 percent between 2006 and 2026, while domestic crude production is expected to decrease by 11 percent, resulting in an anticipated 28 percent increase in petroleum imports. Absent significant action, the United States will become more vulnerable to oil price increases, more dependent upon foreign oil, and less able to pursue national interests.
Two-thirds of all domestic oil use occurs in the transportation sector, which is 97 percent reliant upon petroleum-based fuels. Passenger vehicles, including light trucks under 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, represent over 60 percent of the oil used in the transportation sector.
Corporate average fuel economy of all cars and trucks improved by 70 percent between 1975 and 1987. Between 1987 and 2006, fuel economy improvements have stagnated and the fuel economy of the United States is lower than many developed countries and some developing countries.
Significant improvements in engine technology occurred between 1986 and 2006. These advances have been used to make vehicles larger and more powerful, and have not focused solely on increasing fuel economy.
According to a 2002 fuel economy report by the National Academies of Science, fuel economy can be increased without negatively impacting the safety of cars and trucks in the United States. Some new technologies can increase both safety and fuel economy (such as high strength materials, unibody design, lower bumpers). Design changes related to fuel economy also present opportunities to reduce the incompatibility of tall, stiff, heavy vehicles with the majority of vehicles on the road.
Significant change must occur to strengthen the economic competitiveness of the domestic auto industry. According to a recent study by the University of Michigan, a sustained gasoline price of $2.86 per gallon would lead Detroit’s Big 3 automakers’ profits to shrink by $7,000,000,000 as they absorb 75 percent of the lost vehicle sales. This would put nearly 300,000 people in the United States out of work.
Opportunities exist to strengthen the domestic vehicle industry while improving fuel economy. A 2004 study performed by the University of Michigan concludes that providing $1,500,000,000 in tax incentives over a 10-year period to encourage domestic manufacturers and parts facilities to produce clean cars will lead to a gain of nearly 60,000 domestic jobs and pay for itself through the resulting increase in domestic tax receipts.
Definition of automobile and passenger automobile
Definition of automobile
Paragraph (3) of section 32901(a) of title 49, United
States Code, is amended by striking
rated at— and all that
follows through the period at the end and inserting
rated at not more
than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight..
Fuel economy information
Section 32908(a) of such title is amended, by
section— and all that follows through
(2) and inserting
section, the term.
The amendments made by paragraphs (1) and (2) shall apply to model year 2010 and each subsequent model year.
Definition of passenger automobile
Paragraph (16) of section 32901(a) of such title is
amended by striking
, but does not include and all that follows
through the end and inserting a period.
The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply to model year 2012 and each subsequent model year.
Average fuel economy standards
Section 32902 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—
in subsection (a)—
in the heading,
before model year 2013 after
by adding at the
end the following:
This subsection shall not apply to automobiles
manufactured after model year 2012.;
in subsection (b)—
in the heading,
before model year 2013 after
and before model year 2010 after
by adding at the
end the following:
Such standard shall be increased by 4 percent per
year for model years 2010 through 2012 (rounded to the nearest 1/10 mile per
by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
Automobiles manufactured after model year 2012
Not later than 18 months before the beginning of each model year after model year 2012, the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe, by regulation—
an average fuel economy standard for automobiles manufactured by a manufacturer in that model year; or
based on 1 or more vehicle attributes that relate to fuel economy—
separate average fuel economy standards for different classes of automobiles; or
average fuel economy standards expressed in the form of a mathematical function.
Except as provided under paragraphs (3) and (4) and subsection (d), average fuel economy standards under subparagraph (A) shall attain a projected aggregate level of average fuel economy of 27.5 miles per gallon for all automobiles manufactured by all manufacturers for model year 2013.
The projected aggregate level of average fuel economy for model year 2014 and each model year thereafter shall be increased by 4 percent over the level of the prior model year (rounded to the nearest 1/10 mile per gallon).
In addition to the average fuel economy standards under paragraph (1), each manufacturer of passenger automobiles shall be subject to an average fuel economy standard for passenger automobiles manufactured by a manufacturer in a model year that shall be equal to 92 percent of the average fuel economy projected by the Secretary for all passenger automobiles manufactured by all manufacturers in that model year. An average fuel economy standard under this subparagraph for a model year shall be promulgated at the same time as the standard under paragraph (1) for such model year.
If the actual aggregate level of average fuel economy achieved by manufacturers for each of 3 consecutive model years is 5 percent or more less than the projected aggregate level of average fuel economy for such model year, the Secretary may make appropriate adjustments to the standards prescribed under this subsection.
Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) through (3) and subsection (b), the Secretary of Transportation may prescribe a lower average fuel economy standard for 1 or more model years if the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that the minimum standards prescribed under paragraph (1)(B) or (3) or subsection (b) for each model year—
are technologically not achievable;
cannot be achieved without materially reducing the overall safety of automobiles manufactured or sold in the United States and no offsetting safety improvements can be practicably implemented for that model year; or
is shown not to be cost effective.
If a lower standard is prescribed for a model year under subparagraph (A), such standard shall be the maximum standard that—
is technologically achievable;
can be achieved without materially reducing the overall safety of automobiles manufactured or sold in the United States; and
is cost effective.
In determining cost effectiveness under paragraph (4)(A)(iii), the Secretary of Transportation shall take into account the total value to the United States of reduced petroleum use, including the value of reducing external costs of petroleum use, using a value for such costs equal to 50 percent of the value of a gallon of gasoline saved or the amount determined in an analysis of the external costs of petroleum use that considers—
value to consumers;
the impact of oil use—
on sustained cartel rents paid to foreign suppliers;
on long-run potential gross domestic product due to higher normal-market oil price levels, including inflationary impacts;
on import costs, wealth transfers, and potential gross domestic product due to increased trade imbalances;
on import costs and wealth transfers during oil shocks;
on macroeconomic dislocation and adjustment costs during oil shocks;
on the cost of existing energy security policies, including the management of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve;
on the timing and severity of the oil peaking problem;
on the risk, probability, size, and duration of oil supply disruptions;
on OPEC strategic behavior and long-run oil pricing;
on the short term elasticity of energy demand and the magnitude of price increases resulting from a supply shock;
on oil imports, military costs, and related security costs, including intelligence, homeland security, sea lane security and infrastructure, and other military activities;
on oil imports, diplomatic and foreign policy flexibility, and connections to geopolitical strife, terrorism, and international development activities;
on all relevant environmental hazards under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency; and
on well-to-wheels urban and local
air emissions of
pollutants and their uninternalized
the impact of the oil or energy intensity of the United States economy on the sensitivity of the economy to oil price changes, including the magnitude of gross domestic product losses in response to short term price shocks or long term price increases;
the impact of United States payments for oil imports on political, economic, and military developments in unstable or unfriendly oil exporting countries;
the uninternalized costs of pipeline and storage oil seepage, and for risk of oil spills from production, handling, and transport, and related landscape damage; and
additional relevant factors, as determined by the Secretary.
When considering the value to consumers of a gallon of gasoline saved, the Secretary of Transportation may not use a value that is less than the greatest of—
the average national cost of a gallon of gasoline sold in the United States during the 12-month period ending on the date on which the new fuel economy standard is proposed;
the most recent weekly estimate by the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy of the average national cost of a gallon of gasoline (all grades) sold in the United States; or
the gasoline prices projected by the Energy Information Administration for the 20-year period beginning in the year following the year in which the standards are established.
In prescribing standards under this subsection, the Secretary may prescribe standards for 1 or more model years.
Not later than December 31, 2016, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Energy, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall submit a joint report to Congress on the state of global automotive efficiency technology development, and on the accuracy of tests used to measure fuel economy of automobiles under section 32904(c), utilizing the study and assessment of the National Academy of Sciences referred to in subparagraph (B).
The Secretary of Transportation shall enter into appropriate arrangements with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study of the technological opportunities to enhance fuel economy and an analysis and assessment of the accuracy of fuel economy tests used by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to measure fuel economy for each model under section 32904(c). Such analysis and assessment shall identify any additional factors or methods that should be included in tests to measure fuel economy for each model to more accurately reflect actual fuel economy of automobiles. The Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall furnish, at the request of the Academy, any information that the Academy determines to be necessary to conduct the study, analysis, and assessment under this subparagraph.
The report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include—
the study of the National Academy of Sciences referred to in subparagraph (B); and
an assessment by the Secretary of Transportation of technological opportunities to enhance fuel economy and opportunities to increase overall fleet safety.
The report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall identify and examine additional opportunities to reform the regulatory structure under this chapter, including approaches that seek to merge vehicle and fuel requirements into a single system that achieves equal or greater reduction in petroleum use and environmental benefits than the amount of petroleum use and environmental benefits that have been achieved as of the date of the enactment of this Act.
The report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall—
include conclusions reached by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, as a result of detailed analysis and public comment, on the accuracy of fuel economy tests as in use during the period beginning on the date that is 5 years before the completion of the report and ends on the date of such completion;
identify any additional factors that the Administrator determines should be included in tests to measure fuel economy for each model to more accurately reflect actual fuel economy of automobiles; and
include a description of options, formulated by the Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator, to incorporate such additional factors in fuel economy tests in a manner that will not effectively increase or decrease average fuel economy for any automobile manufacturer.
(g)(2), by striking
(and submit the amendment to Congress when required
under subsection (c)(2) of this section).
Chapter 329 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—
in section 32903—
passenger each place it appears;
section 32902(b)–(d) of this title each place it
appears and inserting
subsection (c) or (d) of section
by striking subsection (e); and
by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (e); and
in section 32904—
in subsection (a)—
passenger each place it appears; and
(1), by striking
subject to and all that follows through
section 32902(b)–(d) of this title and inserting
to subsection (c) or (d) of section 32902; and
(b)(1)(B), by striking
under this chapter and inserting
under section 32902(c)(2).
The amendments made by this section shall apply to automobiles manufactured after model year 2012.
Credit trading, compliance, and judicial review
Section 32903(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended—
Credits earned by a manufacturer under this section may be sold to any
other manufacturer and used as if earned by that manufacturer, except that
credits earned by a manufacturer described in clause (i) of section
32904(b)(1)(A) may only be sold to a manufacturer described such clause (i) and
credits earned by a manufacturer described in clause (ii) of such section may
only be sold to a manufacturer described in such clause (ii). after
3 consecutive model years immediately each place it appears and
model years; and
model years after 2012, the sentence added by paragraph (1) of this subsection
is amended by inserting
for purposes of compliance with section
Multi-year compliance period
Section 32904(c) of such title is amended—
The Administrator; and
by adding at the end the following:
The Secretary, by rule, may allow a manufacturer to elect a multi-year compliance period of not more than 4 consecutive model years in lieu of the single model year compliance period otherwise applicable under this chapter.
Judicial review of regulations
Section 32909(a)(1) of such title is amended by
adversely affected by and inserting
aggrieved or adversely affected by, or suffering a legal wrong because
Consumer tax credit
Elimination on number of new qualified hybrid and advanced lean burn technology vehicles eligible for alternative motor vehicle credit
Section 30B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended—
by striking subsection (f); and
by redesignating subsections (g) through (j) as subsections (f) through (i), respectively.
Paragraphs (4) and (6) of section 30B(h) of
such Code are each amended by striking
(determined without regard to
subsection (g)) and inserting
determined without regard to
Section 38(b)(25) of such Code is amended
section 30B(g)(1) and inserting
Section 55(c)(2) of such Code is amended by
section 30B(g)(2) and inserting
Section 1016(a)(36) of such Code is amended
section 30B(h)(4) and inserting
Section 6501(m) of such Code is amended by
section 30B(h)(9) and inserting
Extension of alternative vehicle credit for new qualified hybrid motor vehicles
Paragraph (3) of
section 30B(i) of such Code (as redesignated by subsection (a)) is amended by
December 31, 2009 and inserting
Computation of credit
Section 30B of such Code is amended by striking
city each place it appears and inserting
The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall apply to property placed in service after December 31, 2007, in taxable years ending after such date. The amendments made by subsection (c) shall apply to vehicles acquired after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Advanced technology motor vehicles manufacturing credit
Subpart B of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to foreign tax credit, etc.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
Advanced technology motor vehicles manufacturing credit
There shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year an amount equal to 35 percent of the qualified investment of an eligible taxpayer for such taxable year.
For purposes of this section—
The qualified investment for any taxable year is equal to the incremental costs incurred during such taxable year—
to re-equip, expand, or establish any manufacturing facility in the United States of the eligible taxpayer to produce advanced technology motor vehicles or to produce eligible components,
for engineering integration performed in the United States of such vehicles and components as described in subsection (d),
for research and development performed in the United States related to advanced technology motor vehicles and eligible components, and
for employee retraining with respect to the manufacturing of such vehicles or components (determined without regard to wages or salaries of such retrained employees).
In the event a facility of the eligible taxpayer produces both advanced technology motor vehicles and conventional motor vehicles, or eligible and non-eligible components, only the qualified investment attributable to production of advanced technology motor vehicles and eligible components shall be taken into account.
In this section:
Advanced technology motor vehicle
The term advanced technology motor vehicle means—
any qualified electric vehicle (as defined in section 30(c)(1)),
any new qualified fuel cell motor vehicle (as defined in section 30B(b)(3)),
any new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle (as defined in section 30B(c)(3)),
any new qualified hybrid motor vehicle (as defined in section 30B(d)(2)(A) and determined without regard to any gross vehicle weight rating),
any new qualified alternative fuel motor vehicle (as defined in section 30B(e)(4), including any mixed-fuel vehicle (as defined in section 30B(e)(5)(B)), and
any other motor vehicle using electric drive transportation technology (as defined in paragraph (3)).
Electric drive transportation technology
The term electric drive transportation technology means technology used by vehicles that use an electric motor for all or part of their motive power and that may or may not use off-board electricity, such as battery electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, engine dominant hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid fuel cell vehicles.
The term eligible component means any component inherent to any advanced technology motor vehicle, including—
with respect to any gasoline or diesel-electric new qualified hybrid motor vehicle—
electric motor or generator;
power split device;
power control unit;
integrated starter generator; or
with respect to any hydraulic new qualified hybrid motor vehicle—
accumulator or other energy storage device;
hydraulic pump-motor assembly;
power control unit; and
with respect to any new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle—
fuel injection system; or
after-treatment system, such as a particle filter or NOx absorber; and
with respect to any advanced technology motor vehicle, any other component submitted for approval by the Secretary.
The term eligible taxpayer means any taxpayer if more than 20 percent of the taxpayer’s gross receipts for the taxable year is derived from the manufacture of motor vehicles or any component parts of such vehicles.
Engineering integration costs
For purposes of subsection (b)(1)(B), costs for engineering integration are costs incurred prior to the market introduction of advanced technology vehicles for engineering tasks related to—
establishing functional, structural, and performance requirements for component and subsystems to meet overall vehicle objectives for a specific application,
designing interfaces for components and subsystems with mating systems within a specific vehicle application,
designing cost effective, efficient, and reliable manufacturing processes to produce components and subsystems for a specific vehicle application, and
validating functionality and performance of components and subsystems for a specific vehicle application.
Limitation based on amount of tax
The credit allowed under subsection (a) for the taxable year shall not exceed the excess of—
the sum of—
the regular tax liability (as defined in section 26(b)) for such taxable year, plus
the tax imposed by section 55 for such taxable year and any prior taxable year beginning after 1986 and not taken into account under section 53 for any prior taxable year, over
the sum of the credits allowable under subpart A and sections 27, 30, and 30B for the taxable year.
Reduction in basis
For purposes of this subtitle, if a credit is allowed under this section for any expenditure with respect to any property, the increase in the basis of such property which would (but for this paragraph) result from such expenditure shall be reduced by the amount of the credit so allowed.
No double benefit
Coordination with other deductions and credits
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amount of any deduction or other credit allowable under this chapter for any cost taken into account in determining the amount of the credit under subsection (a) shall be reduced by the amount of such credit attributable to such cost.
Research and development costs
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), any amount described in subsection (b)(1)(C) taken into account in determining the amount of the credit under subsection (a) for any taxable year shall not be taken into account for purposes of determining the credit under section 41 for such taxable year.
Costs taken into account in determining base period research expenses
Any amounts described in subsection (b)(1)(C) taken into account in determining the amount of the credit under subsection (a) for any taxable year which are qualified research expenses (within the meaning of section 41(b)) shall be taken into account in determining base period research expenses for purposes of applying section 41 to subsequent taxable years.
Business carryovers allowed
If the credit allowable under subsection (a) for a taxable year exceeds the limitation under subsection (e) for such taxable year, such excess (to the extent of the credit allowable with respect to property subject to the allowance for depreciation) shall be allowed as a credit carryback to each of the 15 taxable years immediately preceding the unused credit year and as a carryforward to each of the 20 taxable years immediately following the unused credit year.
For purposes of this section, rules similar to the rules of section 179A(e)(4) and paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 41(f) shall apply.
Allocation of credit to purchasers
Election to allocate
In the case of an eligible taxpayer, any portion of the credit determined under subsection (a) for the taxable year may, at the election of such taxpayer, be apportioned among purchasers of qualifying vehicles from the taxpayer in the taxable year (or in any year in which the credit may be carried over).
For purposes of this subsection, the term qualifying vehicle means an advanced technology vehicle manufactured at a facility described in subsection (b)(1)(A).
Form and effect of election
An election under subparagraph (A) for any taxable year shall be made on a timely filed return for such year. Such election, once made, shall be irrevocable for such taxable year.
Treatment of taxpayer and purchasers
The amount of the credit apportioned to any purchaser under paragraph (1)—
shall not be included in the amount determined under subsection (a) with respect to the eligible taxpayer for the taxable year; and
shall be treated as an amount determined under subsection (a) for the taxable year of the purchaser which ends in the calendar year of purchase.
Special rules for decrease in credits for taxable year
If the amount of the credit of an eligible taxpayer determined under subsection (a) for a taxable year is less than the amount of such credit shown on the return of the taxpayer for such year, an amount equal to the excess of—
such reduction, over
the amount not apportioned to such purchasers under paragraph (1) for the taxable year,
Written notice to purchasers
If any portion of the credit available under subsection (a) is allocated to purchasers under paragraph (1), the eligible taxpayer shall provide any purchaser receiving an allocation written notice of the amount of the allocation. Such notice may be provided either at the time of purchase or at any time not later than 60 days after the close of the calendar year in which the vehicle is purchased.
Election not To take credit
No credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) for any property if the taxpayer elects not to have this section apply to such property.
The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
This section shall not apply to any qualified investment after December 31, 2011.
Section 1016(a) of the Internal Revenue
Code of 1986 is amended by striking
and at the end of paragraph
(36), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (37) and inserting
, and, and by adding at the end the following new
to the extent provided in section 30D(g).
Section 6501(m) of such Code is amended by
The table of sections for subpart B of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 30C the following new item:
Sec. 30D. Advanced technology motor vehicles manufacturing credit.
The amendments made by this section shall apply to amounts incurred in taxable years beginning after December 31, 1999.