Hybrid incentive bills introduced in Congress

Fuel-efficient hybrids, the cars of choice for greens of means, are a hot topic in Congress, with two bills introduced this month that could further fuel their popularity. One bill, unveiled in the House last Tuesday by California Reps. Darrell Issa (R) and Brad Sherman (D), would let states decide whether or not to allow hybrid vehicles to use highway carpool lanes when they’re occupied by just one person. Right now, since some funding for carpool lanes comes from the federal government, the feds make the rules about which cars are allowed — so far, that’s meant only electric or other alternative-fuel vehicles (and, you know, old-fashioned car pools). A separate bill reintroduced in the House this week by Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and supported by President Bush would offer tax credits of between $600 and $4,000 to buyers of hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars.