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Energy Update, December 5, 2008

In the States
CA –Three cities – San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose – have announced a plan that would encourage individuals to purchase electric-only vehicles by installing charging stations for the autos.  Several manufacturers are planning to roll out new electric-only and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.  The mayors are also planning to buy electric vehicles for the cities’ auto fleets.  The plan won praise from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a step toward energy independence and economic recovery.  Mayors aim to make San Francisco Bay Area the electric vehicle capital of the U.S.Office of Mayor Gavin Newsom
CT – Governor M. Jodi Rell heralded the beginning of the Connecticut Clean Tech Fund, a $9 million fund through which investments will be made to companies with innovative clean energy products that have not yet been introduced to the market.  The money will be distributed to companies in amounts of up to $1 million by Connecticut Innovations, a quasi-public institution in charge of technology investment.  $9 million fund will invest in green startup companiesNew York Times
HI – Governor Laura Lingle has introduced a plan that would create 70,000 – 100,000 charging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles through a public-private partnership.  The plan is part of a larger effort to dramatically reduce Hawaii’s dependence on oil by 2030.  Installing charging stations would allow individuals to take electric cars farther, making them more appealing.  With more electric cars on the road, the state’s utilities could eventually create the electricity they use from renewable sources and send the energy through planned new undersea transmission lines, eliminating fossil fuels from the process altogether.  Hawaii makes bug bet on electric carsWall Street Journal
OR – Governor Ted Kulongoski has announced that the state will buy electric vehicles for its fleet of automobiles starting in 2010.  A partnership with Nissan will give the state access to electric vehicles and a partnership with Portland General Electric will provide infrastructure to charge them.  Six charging stations are already in place in the Portland and Salem areas and there are plans for six more.  Governor, Nissan, & PGE partner to promote zero-emission vehiclesOffice of Governor Ted Kulongoski
On the Hill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the new Congress will take “giant leaps forward” in promoting alternative energy and green policies compared to the “baby steps” of increased CAFE standards and producer tax credits that the current Congress has passed.  He recently headlined a roundtable on energy issues held by the Third Way think tank and is compiling a blue-ribbon panel on the subject to make recommendations for Nevada regarding clean energy.  While it is widely expected that President-elect Obama will push a stimulus that includes funding for green projects immediately following inauguration, Sen. Reid has said he has not seen the legislation.  Reid sees giant leaps for green energyLas Vegas Review-Journal
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with several governors to discuss a stimulus package that she said will likely cost $500 billion that President-elect Obama has called for.  Much of that money would go to investments in alternative energy projects among other state infrastructure projects.  She said that the priority of a stimulus bill is “creating jobs for the 21st century” that focus on energy projects.  House to push $500 billion stimulusWashington Post
Transition News
The President-elect is working on a $400 billion - $500 billion stimulus package that he says will create 2.5 million jobs, produce more alternative energy, and decrease carbon emissions.  While the details are still being worked out in private, a senior aide to the former senator told the New York Times that “it would probably include the weatherizing of hundreds of thousands of homes, the installation of ‘smart meters’ to monitor and reduce home energy use, and billions of dollars in grants to state and local governments for mass transit and infrastructure projects.”  The stimulus package is also expected to include government subsidies for solar and wind power, biofuels, and carbon capture technology.  Mr. Obama discussed the plans for an economic stimulus with governors, where he expressed support for helping the states through public works projects, including those involving renewable energy.  Proposal ties economic stimulus to energy planNew York Times and Obama backs governors’ pleas for aid to statesWall Street Journal

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