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CHARGE Act Empowers Northwest Companies to Create Jobs

Senators seek tax changes for technology firms

Washington, DC - Bureaucracy and regulations can stifle job creation, and U.S. manufacturers need all the advantages they can get to compete in the worldwide field of manufacturing and technologies.  Today, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, along with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), introduced legislation that will update regulations and promote the sale and production of next generation vehicles.  The Changing How America Reduces Greenhouse Emissions, or CHARGE Act, will reform outdated tax credit formulas to reflect new and developing technologies.

In 2008, Congress enacted a tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).  Since then, new battery technologies have been developed that are excluded from the formula used to calculate which vehicles qualify for the PHEV tax credit.  Under the CHARGE Act, the tax credit formula would be updated to include all electrical storage systems. 

"The most promising technology stems from vigorous competition, and this legislation will amend the current tax credit formula so that minor technicalities do not prevent new technologies from competing," Crapo said.  "This bill will help drive innovation and advance vehicle manufacturing while creating the jobs of the future in America."

"This legislation levels the playing field for developers of power storage in electric cars and gives a promising technology the same opportunity to succeed in the marketplace," said Risch.

"While the Act is simply an amendment to the existing tax code, i.e. modifying a few words and moving paragraphs, it represents so much more," said David Alexander, CEO of IVUS Energy Solutions based in Moscow, Idaho.  "This Act encourages and supports viable advanced energy technology for transportation.  This support creates more incentive for our scientists and engineers to innovate toward more sustainable energy solutions.  The leadership demonstrated by Senators Crapo and Risch in supporting advanced energy solutions empowers all of us, even the small towns in Idaho, to solve our biggest global issues."

"Without incentives, market adoption of new, transformational energy storage devices will likely incur unnecessary delay, thus delaying the advancement of electrification in transportation," said Tim KinKeade, CEO of GoNano Technologies.  Inclusion of all technologies in the tax credit will level the playing field for energy storage devices and enable the most innovative energy storage systems to gain market acceptance."

The bill, introduced in the U.S. Senate today, will now go to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration.  Because this legislation simply revises the tax credit formula without changing the number of vehicles eligible, currently capped at 200,000, it is zero-cost.