White House Aide Praises Merkley-Alexander Electric Vehicles Bill, Suggests It As Possible Basis for Bipartisan Progress on Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) released the following statement after a White House energy advisor stated this morning that the Merkley-Alexander Promoting Electric Vehicles Act, S. 948, could form the basis for bipartisan energy legislation:

“I appreciate the White House’s positive comments about our electric vehicles bill as a potential foundation for a comprehensive energy package.  Senator Alexander and I have worked closely together to make sure this is an approach that works for both parties, and it has been exciting to see the strong bipartisan interest this legislation has received. I agree that it would be a productive and innovative place to start as we seek bipartisan progress on energy policy.  I look forward to working further with Senator Alexander, the Chair and Ranking members of the Energy committee, and the White House to move this legislation to the floor.”

Heather Zichal, the deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change, told reporters Wednesday morning, “A lot of the [Merkley-Alexander] bill has great ideas in it and we are hopeful that it could serve as the underpinning for a broader package that could move through Congress.”

Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has also expressed support for the bill.

The Promoting Electric Vehicles Act forms part of Senator Merkley’s comprehensive plan to end America’s dependence on overseas oil.  The full plan can be found here.  A summary of S. 948 is also attached.