On February 11-14, Transportation Energy Partners hosted its annual Energy Independence Summit. Once again, the event featured a Congressional education day on Capitol Hill. As in recent years, Clean Fuels Ohio members were well represented in our nation's capital.
From left to right: Brendan Kelley, Clean Fuels Ohio; Gary Yeates, Insight Fuels; Congressman Bob Latta;
Jason Phillips, Clean Fuels Ohio; Frank Edwards, Linden's Propane; and Bethany Allen, IGS
Accompanied by industry partners in the CNG, propane, electric and biodiesel industries, Clean Fuels Ohio coordinated over 15 meetings with legislators and staff to discuss the needs of the alternative fuel industry at the federal level. Included in these meetings were the chairs and staff of numerous key committees as well as several influential minority party members.
"Everyone we met with was extremely positive about the work we are doing, the positive effect we are having on the Ohio economy and the energy security domestic energy sources provide," said Jason Phillips, Policy Director for Clean Fuels Ohio. "There will always be disagreements about policy specifics but overall, the Ohio delegation is supportive of alternative transportation fuel."
Of particular interest this year was the proposed extension of tax credits for biodiesel, propane, LNG and CNG, along with the $7500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles, rules regarding federal highway funds for alternative fuel projects, funding for the Clean Cities program and support for the federal Renewable Fuels Standard, which leverages market penetration of all renewable fuels, including biodiesel, renewable natural gas and others. This program allows organizations like Clean Fuels Ohio to provide technical support for fleets and station owners and helps deploy alternative fuel projects across the country.
"It was a very good day on Capitol Hill," Phillips continued. "We covered the Ohio Congressional delegation extremely well. Looking forward, our goal will be to bring an even larger delegation of members with us to tell their story in Washington. This will enable us to cover nearly the entire Ohio delegation plus engage staff with key Congressional committees. Of course, this event also provides tremendous networking opportunities with Clean Cities stakeholders across the country, and our members appreciate that."
Phillips indicated that CFO and other Clean Cities stakeholders will follow up regarding the appropriations process for the 2020 federal budget. While there is no definitive timeline for passage of the budget bill, it is expected to be introduced in mid-March.