NATSO, representing truckstops and travel plazas; the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS); and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) issued the following statement regarding the retail fuels industry's views on legislation being considered in Congress to establish a grant program to fund alternative fuel infrastructure investments. The associations are sharing this statement to reiterate our position, which has not wavered, so that our position is clear in light of certain inaccurate media reports.
"This reporting inaccurately stated that our associations' concerns with inappropriate utility involvement in the EV charging business reflects opposition to the alternative fuel corridor program in America's Transportation Infrastructure Act. This is false. Our associations have not allowed that one concern to overshadow the fact that the alternative fuel corridor grant program moves in a positive direction by working with the private sector to spur investment in alternative fueling.
"The fuels retailing community supports policies that encourage a vibrant, competitive market for alternative fueling. The alternative fuels corridor grant program that was included in America's Transportation Infrastructure Act, recently reported out of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, represents a positive step in the right direction.
"NACS, NATSO, and SIGMA are grateful for Chairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper, and their respective staffs for the thoughtful, diligent work they put into crafting this legislation. By allowing a variety of alternative fuels to benefit from the grant program, and by requiring that federal financial support ultimately goes to private entities, the EPW Committee's legislation can, if implemented properly, effectively expedite investments in refueling infrastructure such as EV charging stations where the public needs them the most.”
The three trade associations indicated that it would be important for the executive branch, when implementing such a program, to consider the effect of utilities on EV charging infrastructure development.
"NACS, NATSO, and SIGMA have concerns about efforts by electric utilities to charge all of their customers for the costs of electric vehicle infrastructure, and the potential for that approach to squeeze out private investment dollars into electric vehicle infrastructure development. The associations have consistently raised the concern that, if administered in a problematic way, a grant program could exacerbate those problems and reduce private investment. Private sector investment in charging infrastructure would diminish if a utility were allowed to double-dip by billing all their customers more money to pay for electric vehicle charging infrastructure while also taking taxpayer money for the same projects. Despite this concern, none of our associations opposed the alternative fuels corridor program in America's Transportation Infrastructure Act.
"The businesses that NACS, NATSO, and SIGMA represent strive to serve American motorists, regardless of what type of fuel they may desire. It is the associations' responsibility to work with policymakers to help them craft legislation to best facilitate that outcome."
About NATSO, NACS, and SIGMA
NATSO is the trade association of America’s travel plaza and truckstop industry. Founded in 1960, NATSO represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truckstop industry; provides education to its members; conducts an annual convention and trade show; and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate. Contact: Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, Vice President, Public Affairs. 703-739-8578
NACS is an international trade association representing more than 2,200 retail and 1,600 supplier company members. NACS member companies do business in nearly 50 countries worldwide, with the majority of members based in the United States. In 2016, the U.S. convenience store industry, with approximately 2.3 million employees and 154,535 stores across the United States, generated $549.9 billion in total sales, representing approximately 3 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. More than one of five dollars spent inside a convenience store are for foodservice purchases. Contact: Jeff Lenard, Vice President, Strategic Industry Initiatives. 703-518-4272
SIGMA represents a diverse membership of approximately 260 independent chain retailers and marketers of motor fuel. While 67 percent are involved in gasoline retailing, 83 percent are involved in wholesaling, 56 percent transport product, 39 percent have bulk plant operations, and 20 percent operate terminals. Member retail outlets come in many forms including truckstops, traditional “gas stations,” convenience stores with gas pumps, cardlocks, and unattended public fueling locations. Contact: Doug Kantor, Steptoe & Johnson, 202-429-3775 and Eva Rigamonti, Steptoe & Johnson, 202-429-6457
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