2020 FEDERAL POLICY AGENDA
Let us help remove the barriers to your success
AUTHORIZE CLEAN CITIES PROGRAM
Nearly 100 local coalitions serve as the foundation of the Clean Cities program by working to cut petroleum use in communities across the country. Clean Cities coalitions are comprised of businesses, fuel providers, vehicle fleets, state and local government agencies, and community organizations. Each coalition is led by an on-the-ground Clean Cities coordinator, who tailors projects and activities to capitalize on the unique opportunities in their communities. Nationwide, nearly 15,000 stakeholders participate in Clean Cities coalitions, and through their collective efforts they are transforming local and regional transportation markets and contributing to Clean Cities' goals and accomplishments.
We ask that Congress formally authorize the Clean Cities Program.
CLEAN CITIES LINE ITEM WITH SPECIFIC FOCUS ON DEPLOYMENT
At the national level, the Clean Cities program develops partnerships provides technical assistance and analysis, information resources, and online tools and data. At the local level, coalitions leverage these resources to create networks of local stakeholders and provide technical assistance to fleets implementing alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements, and emerging transportation technologies. Clean Cities Coalitions are able to offer unbiased planning and recommendations to fleets interested in transitioning towards alternative fuel use. Together, Clean Cities' efforts support a broad set of approaches that improve transportation efficiency at the local, state, and national levels.
We ask that funding be continued at its current level. We also ask that language be included to direct the US Department of Energy to emphasize that the Clean Cities program focus on the deployment of alternative fueled vehicles.
PROTECT RENEWABLE FUELS STANDARD
Biodiesel is the most successful EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel in the U.S. and the first to reach commercial-scale production nationwide. The Biodiesel industry supports over 47,000 jobs nationwide and every 100 million gallons of biodiesel production supports roughly 3200 jobs. Biodiesel significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions as compared to petroleum diesel. The biodiesel industry is increasing domestic energy production, diversifying our fuel supplies, and expanding domestic refining capacity so that we're not so vulnerable to global oil markets and associated refining bottle necks. We also need to protect the use of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) in the RFS. Depending on the source and the technology used for generation, Renewable natural gas can be carbon negative.
We ask that Congress keep the Renewable Fuel Standard as it currently stands.
NGV PARITY ACT
Legislation has been introduced that would require the US EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to treat Natural Gas Vehicles the same as Electric Vehicles when developing rules regarding CAFÉ standards.
We ask Congress to support the Natural Gas Vehicle Parity Act but amend the legislation to include all alternative fuels.
RENEW OR EXTEND TAX CREDITS FOR ALTERNATIVE FUELS
A tax incentive is currently available for alternative fuels that are sold to operate a motor vehicle. For an entity to be eligible to claim the credit they must be liable for reporting and paying the federal excise tax on the sale or use of the fuel in a motor vehicle. Tax exempt entities such as state and local governments that dispense qualified fuel from an on-site fueling station for use in vehicles also qualify for the incentive. These tax credits are very effective in helping with the transition to alternative fuels. This incentive helps address a barrier to adoption as it reduces the time it takes to realize the return-on-investment.
In recent years, Congress has approved tax credits for alternative fuels retroactively at the end of the year. This is bad for the industry because it does not allow businesses to plan for the upcoming. Instead, they are forced to trust that these tax credits will be renewed and there is no certainty for fleets interested in making the transition.
We ask that Congress renew tax credits and other financial incentives for alternative fuels and approve tax credits for multiple years instead of retroactive to one year.
RETAIN FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR ALTERNATIVE FUELED VEHICLES
One of the biggest barriers we see to the adoption of Alternative Fueled Vehicles is the up-front cost. It is necessary to establish financial incentives that are targeted towards vehicles that would help reduce this barrier. These incentives can include rebates, vouchers, or grants. This incentive would cover a percentage of the incremental cost of the vehicle.
We ask that Congress retain financial incentives for alternative fueled vehicles.
RETAIN STRONG CAFE STANDARDS
First enacted by Congress in 1975, the purpose of CAFE is to reduce energy consumption by increasing the fuel economy of cars and light trucks. The CAFE standards are fleet-wide averages that must be achieved by each automaker for its car and truck fleet, each year, since 1978.
The actual Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard is expected to be about 49.6 mpg in 2025. However, the current administration has made efforts to erode the current standards.
We ask that Congress retain the current efficiency standards for light, medium, and heavy duty vehicles.
STREAMLINE USDOT RULES FOR ALTERNATIVE FUELS VEHICLE PROJECTS
Any project that gets money through FHWA requires that steel content of a vehicle be a certain percent. The problem is that many projects cannot qualify because there are parts that simply are not made in the US. In past administrations, a waiver was granted but the current administration wants to enforce current law as written and will not issue waivers.
We ask that Congress streamline USDOT rules to allow FHWA funding for alternative fuel vehicle projects.
INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS FOR DESIGNATED FHWA ALTERNATIVE FUELS CORRIDORS
The Fixing Americas Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2019 provides funding from FY 2021-2025. The $287 billion spending authority would increase investment in traditional core highway accounts and would also create several new initiatives and pilot programs. Included in the bill is the FHWA alt fuel corridor designations. Ohio currently has parts of a number of interstates and state routes designated as alternative fuel corridors. Both CNG and DC fast charging have been included.
Grants for fueling/charging infrastructure along these designated corridors would be a tremendous benefit for increasing deployment. States need a funding source to assist in the deployment of infrastructure at this point because there is a market barrier that currently exists.
Additionally, Alt fuels corridors serve as a general education and awareness tool for technology that the public is generally unaware of in terms of applications on highways and state routes.
We ask that Congress establish infrastructure grants for designated FHWA alternative fuels corridors.