Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recently released legislation to reauthorize the current surface transportation bill. The legislation includes funding for a grant program supported by the American Public Power Association to deploy electric and hydrogen vehicle charging infrastructure.
The current surface transportation bill expires on September 30, 2020. Introduced by Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act would authorize $494 billion over the next five years for transit, highways, and rail.
Section 1303 of the bill authorizes $350 million annually for fiscal years 2022-2025 for a grant program to deploy electric and hydrogen vehicle charging infrastructure along existing Alternative Fuel Corridors, based on the Clean Corridors Act (H.R. 2616), which APPA supports.
APPA staff advocated for the grant program, for which public power utilities are eligible, to be included in the House reauthorization bill and against efforts to modify the program to limit the role of electric utilities in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure deployment. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Edison Electric Institute also support the grant program.
In September 2019, a large collection of trade associations including APPA sent a letter to key members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works that supported a similar section in the Senate surface transportation bill.
“We write in support of Section 1401 of the bipartisan American Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), which creates a grant program to bolster alternative fueling infrastructure along key transportation corridors in the United States,” the letter said.
“We commend the Environment and Public Works Committee for including this robust, well-designed program to stimulate private investment in electric vehicle charging, hydrogen refueling, and natural gas refueling infrastructure. The current structure and criteria of Section 1401 represents an appropriate scope of investment in America’s rapidly growing alternative fuels segment,” APPA and the other groups went on to say in the letter.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee plans to mark up the legislation on June 17.