NATSO, the national association representing the travel plaza and truckstop industry, today urged the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to advance its five-year $287 billion highway reauthorization bill, “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act.”
NATSO applauded the Committee for ensuring that highway and infrastructure programs are adequately funded without repealing the federal prohibitions on tolling existing interstates or commercializing rest areas.
“We applaud Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) for introducing a bipartisan effort to address the nation’s critical infrastructure needs through ‘America's Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019’,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “This measure marks a step in the right direction when it comes to enhancing supply chain efficiencies, while also harnessing the private sector's ingenuity to take meaningful steps to improve the environment. We urge the Committee to advance this legislation during its markup on July 30.”
NATSO is supportive of the Committee’s effort to establish a grant program that would stimulate private investment in electric vehicle charging and natural gas refueling stations along designated highway corridors. Private sector investment in alternative fuels such as electricity and natural gas are key to meeting the fueling needs of the traveling public.
It is NATSO's hope that policymakers will steer grants toward projects where private capital is being placed at risk, rather than toward public utilities that inappropriately use their monopolistic stature to crowd out private investment in EV charging infrastructure.
NATSO strongly supports private sector investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the travel plaza and truckstop community is making significant investments in this regard.
When public utilities spread the costs for EV charging infrastructure to all ratepayers -- regardless of whether the ratepayers own an electric vehicle – it amounts to a regressive wealth redistribution whereby middle and lower class Americans help subsidize the costs of wealthy Americans to recharge their electric vehicles. It also gives utilities a leg up in the market that allows them to unfairly compete with the private sector. Awarding grant money to those public utilities that utilize rate payer dollars to invest in electric vehicle charging would effectively allow them to “double dip” and ultimately undercut private sector investment in EV charging.
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