The Biden campaign is eyeing action on an infrastructure package as soon as February, if the former vice president wins the election, Rep. Peter DeFazio said on Oct. 7 during an ITS America conference.
Rep. DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Biden's team expressed interest in his $494 billion surface transportation proposal that would create new federal grant programs and includes a focus on combating climate change.
Rep. DeFazio said that he has already had conversations with the Biden team and that they like his bill.
Lawmakers recently agreed to a one-year extension of existing surface transportation law, rather than reconcile Rep. DeFazio's bill and the bipartisan Senate bill before highway funding expired in September.
For its part, NATSO supports the Senate approach to reauthorization. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in July 2019 advanced S. 2302, “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act,” a $287 billion highway reauthorization bill. S. 2302, which is still awaiting a floor vote, ensures that highway and infrastructure programs are adequately funded without repealing the federal prohibitions on tolling existing interstates or commercializing rest areas.
It also creates a regulatory framework that is far more compatible with increasing investment in EV charging infrastructure than the House bill. S. 2302 would 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.
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