Auto industry representatives on Wednesday backed a draft US Republican House bill proposing to award carbon credits to car manufacturers which install new safety equipment.
The draft bill, subject to a hearing in the House’s energy and commerce committee, proposed to issue carbon credits worth 3 grams of CO2e per mile driven by cars with at least three advanced safety mechanisms, and 6 grams for cars with equipment that allow them to communicate with other vehicles.
“These credits will incentivize the expeditious deployment of technologies that enhance safety and/or reduce congestions, and thereby reduce automotive greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
The carbon credits would be used towards meeting federal emission standards.
Industry representatives said that car accidents cause traffic jams, which increases emissions. By installing equipment that reduces the number of accidents, car makers would contribute to reducing greenhouse gas output.
“MEMA supports awarding credits for advanced technologies for greenhouse gas emissions. The use of these technologies will result in better traffic flow, less fuel consumed and few vehicle emissions,” said Ann Wilson, senior vice president of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.
But some witnesses questioned the draft bill, including Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who said some of the proposals would weaken the agency’s power to enforce safety regulations and blur the transparency of safety information.