Federal Government Solicits Proposals for Alternative Fuel Corridor Designations

The solicitation for nominations for alternative fuel corridors coincides with the Obama Administration announcing that electric vehicle charging infrastructure may qualify for as much as $4.5 billion in loan guarantees.  NATSO has worked closely with the Department of Transportation on these issues.

In dual announcements on July 21, 2016, the Department of Transportation invited submissions from state and local governments to nominate stretches of the National Highway System for formal designation as “alternative fuel corridors,” while the White House unveiled a plan to accelerate adoption of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The announcements present several important policy and market implications for the travel plaza and truckstop industry, including: 

  • Criteria for Designating Alternative Fuel Corridors – NATSO is actively working to ensure that any fuel corridor designation is consistent with the current federal prohibition from offering commercial services at rest areas located on the Interstate right-of-way.  Additionally, the corridor designation process should harness the private sector and incentivize / build upon existing fuel retailers’ investment in alternative fuels (such as natural gas), rather than competing with these businesses in a manner that would discourage further private sector investment.
  • Loan Guarantee Eligibility and Procedure – In making commercial-scale electric vehicle (“EV”) charging projects eligible for billions of dollars in loan guarantees, it presents several important questions for NATSO members, including: (1) Is this a good opportunity to place EV charging equipment at truckstop locations? (2) What implications does this announcement have for the future of fuel and vehicles? (3) Could projects that receive federal backing potentially compete with private travel plazas?

Many questions remain unanswered and some of the details are unclear. NATSO will continue playing an active role as these new policies are implemented.  In the near-term this will include filing substantive comments with the Department of Transportation responding to the alternative fuel corridor solicitation.

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David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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