Speier introduces fuel-efficient car bill

April 8, 2009 6:58:25 PM PDT
The U.S. car industry can use all the help it can get. Now there's a bill being introduced in Congress that could spur sales of American and foreign cars, as long as they're high-mileage.

SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

The measure calls for government rebates that could put a couple thousand dollars in a buyer's pocket.

ABC7 caught up with San Mateo Congresswoman Jackie Speier as she toured a South San Francisco bio-fuel company this morning.

Solazyme makes oil from algae.

"We think we have two to three years before we're going to able to make this in the 40 to 80 dollar a barrel range," said Congresswoman Speier.

Edible oil that Speier says tastes like olive oil.

"It's as good as olive oil mark come over here and taste it," said Speier.

They also make the kind of oil that can power a car.

Speier is trying to boost the sale of more fuel efficient cars. She's introduced a bill to provide rebate checks to anyone buying a new car that gets better than a combined EPA rating of 28 miles per gallon.

"Incentivize people to purchase vehicles that are fuel efficient, and give them a rebate," said Congresswoman Speier.

So if you purchase a car this year that gets better than 28 miles per gallon, you get $1,000 in a government rebate check. And the amount of the check goes up along with the mileage to about $2,500 for a car that gets better than 32 mpg.

The mileage numbers increase for next year, and the year after that the government would set new standards.

"So it's a way of moving us from our dependence on foreign oil, moving us into more fuel-efficient vehicles," said Congresswoman Speier.

Speier hopes it's a way of stimulating U.S. auto manufacturing, by providing an extra incentive to buy a new fuel efficient car.

Steve Schaper is the general manager of the Bay Bridge Dealer Group in Oakland. He is all for any idea that will sell more cars.

The problem is that only one of the cars in his show room would qualify, and it's combined mileage only good enough for the lowest of the rebates.

"But look at what at what General Motors is doing they're going to bring out a big green movement it's coming forward there's starting with the volt we'll get that pretty soon it's a real exciting car," said Schaper.

Schaper says by the time Speier's legislation becomes law, there will be cars on his lot that he says will be revolutionary. Currently the bill is in the Ways and Means Committee.

Napa Congressman Mike Thompson sits on that committee and partnered with Speier in introducing the legislation.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments