2019 FEDERAL POLICY AGENDA
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CLEAN CITIES LINE ITEM WITH SPECIFIC FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT
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 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.
PROJECT 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, RNG can be carbon negative.
We ask that Congress keep the Renewable Fuel Standard as it currently stands.
ESTABLISH 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 create a rebate or voucher program for vehicles that would reduce the up-front cost barrier for vehicles.
RENEW 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 year. 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.
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 no vehicle can qualify because there are parts that simply are not made in the US. In past administrations, a waiver was granted but the Trump 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.
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 EV’s 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.