It was very likely because of who the audience was, but all the panelists at today's "View from the Hill" seminar at the EDTA show agreed that electric drive is the way to go for the future of the American car. Congressional staffer JJ Brown, from Senator Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) office, Pat Bousliman, the natural resources adviser to the Senate Finance Committee, and Mike Carr, counsel to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee (he also works for Senator Bingaman, D-NM), spoke about how lawmakers view the options for moving America to cleaner sources of energy. The overall message was that Congress will do what it can to affect change, but that Congress is looking for help from the outside - like the people in the room, for example.

Brown said that Senator Hatch realizes that, "We cannot have an anti-oil policy on the Hill right now." Members of Congress know that ethanol is not a silver bullet, and electric drive is a "great answer" to the problem of oil dependency, but it's exactly that oil that is available right now and will therefore continue to be supported.

Carr added that lawmakers don't want to be in the position of trying to pick the winning technologies - when they've tried to do so in the past they've made mistakes (*ahem*ethanol*cough*). Still, there will be a new comprehensive energy bill started up in the new Congress, Carr said. This is where the EDTA members, and others, can help with their input. We'll certainly be watching to see what the now-Democratically-controlled Congress and President-elect Mr. Change can craft.

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