U.S. Representative Ed Markey, (D-Mass), who is head of the Select Committee on Energy Independence And Global Warming (whew), proposed the "Plug-in Hybrid Opportunity Act of 2007" yesterday. The plan would give a 35 percent tax break to hybrid owners who purchase and install the components to convert their vehicles to plug-ins. Perhaps this all sounds familiar, which makes sense when you consider the (ridiculous sounding) "Fuel Reduction using Electrons to End Dependence On the Mideast Act of 2007", named so they could cleverly call it the "FREEDOM Act" for short. That plan would have given consumers $7,500 in tax credits for making the plug-in conversion, and was proposed by the bipartisan group of Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Barack Obama (D-Ill). The specific language was removed from the energy bill which was recently passed. Will it make a comeback? Who knows... but take a look at this article and let us know what you think, that is, if you have an opinion. Here, I'll start off by giving an opinion of my own: including Rob Lowe in on the hearing is a dumb gimmick. OK, your turn!

The Auto Alliance, oftentimes the "bearer of auto-related bad news", is acting as the mouthpiece of the major automakers (and their dealers) once again. We already told you that Toyota doesn't like the legislation, and apparently neither do the other manufacturers. They cite the fact that the warranty will be voided if the conversion is done, and even suggest that emissions might be worse afterward. I honestly can't see how that would be true, but I suppose that when changes are made to the vehicle's on-board computer, or ECU, that it could negatively impact the emissions. More testing would obviously be necessary.

Of course, there is no law against purchasing the components to switch your hybrid to a plug-in, and this legislation would support that effort. Have you ever heard the saying "Sacrifices to the God of Speed"? Well, would you be willing to make sacrifices to the God of Green? How about if there was a big tax incentive to do so?

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[Source: Detroit News]