The legislation, passed 19-4 in favor, was one of several bills cleared by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that might be folded into a broader energy and climate bill Democrats are struggling to bring to the Senate floor.
This bill will make the US to invest $3.9 Billion over the next 10 years in building infrastructure to charge electric cars, conduct research and provide incentives for consumers to buy plug-in vehicles.
"Passing this legislation will strengthen our national security and improve the air we breathe, while relying on our abundant and diverse electricity supply to fuel our cars," said Senator Byron Dorgan, the bill's chief sponsor.
A new bill that addresses climate change and renewable energy is a key priority for the Obama administration but time is running short on the congressional calendar with a scheduled August recess and congressional elections looming in November.
Senator Jeff Bingaman, who chairs the energy panel, said he was not sure if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would unveil his encompassing energy and climate legislation next week. The bill would be in trouble if the Senate does not pass it before the August break, according to Bingaman.
"It will be difficult to get a final bill to the president for signature," Bingaman told reporters. "The earlier that the full Senate would act the better position we'll be to actually get a bill to the president."
Reid said on Tuesday he was still grappling for consensus among Democrats to forge a new climate and energy bill.
- Returns Input