NATSO was joined by SIGMA and NACS on Aug. 2 in offering support for the bipartisan infrastructure bill under consideration by the U.S. Senate and asking lawmakers to oppose any amendments that would detract from the industry's ability to make forward-looking investments at a time when the transportation energy market is changing.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the groups urged all Senators to support the bill, which recognizes the essential role that the associations' members must play in lowering the carbon intensity of transportation energy in the United States. The letter states that any amendments which detract from the ability to make forward-looking investments would undermine the bipartisan consensus reached on these issues and risk reversing the associations' support.
The bill that the Senate is considering this week sends a clear policy signal that the federal government wants to work with private industry to improve the environmental characteristics of the transportation sector. Recipients of the alternative fuel corridor grants must partner with the private sector and take into account whether projects support the establishment of long-term competitive infrastructure. This is particularly important for the development of EV charging infrastructure.
The bill also requires states to evaluate their policies on electricity and ensure that they accelerate third party investment in EV charging. Some states have made policy decisions that undercut private sector incentives to invest by making all electricity customers pay for utilities to own and operate charging infrastructure. Those arrangements, and the large demand charges that many non-utility owners and operators of EV charging must pay, create large barriers to private investment. The bill also does not create grants with large risks of federal funds being used to double-dip, which would exacerbate the problem of electricity customers paying for infrastructure.
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