WASHINGTON—The House yesterday passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, by a vote of 233-188. Two Democrat Members of Congress went against their leadership to vote against the bill, and three Republican members crossed over to vote in favor of the bill.
H.R. 2 authorizes $1.5 trillion on infrastructure programs for roads, bridges, transit, rail, schools, housing, broadband, clean energy and other programs. Included in the legislation was a provision that would allow charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) to be built at rest areas. In addition, the legislation would allow investor owned utilities to receive grants to build out EV charging infrastructure, while at the same time passing along the costs of building and maintaining this infrastructure to their electricity ratepayers.
Both of these provisions would stifle private sector investment in building out charging facilities for EV drivers. NACS outlined these concerns in a joint industry letter sent before the floor vote asking members to vote no on H.R. 2. For the first time, NACS opposed a highway authorization bill.
This week the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on highway investment with the hope of creating momentum to advance its highway infrastructure bill, S. 2302, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, which passed out of committee last summer with bipartisan support.
Like the House bill, S. 2302 included a grant program to invest in electric charging infrastructure and alternative energy fueling infrastructure in designated “clean energy corridors.” However, the Senate bill ensures these grants must go to the private sector and includes report language that discourages providing grants to investor owned utilities that charge all electric customers for the cost of EV charging. NACS support S. 2302.