NACS Responds to EPA Final Rule

The modified rule ‘functions as an effective mandate for a single technology.’

March 21, 2024

NACS, along with NATSO and SIGMA, issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Regulations and Standards Final Rule.

We share the Administration’s objective of lowering transportation emissions and appreciate that the Biden Administration is trying to work toward a more viable approach to reducing carbon emissions from light-duty vehicles. However, today’s Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Regulations and Standards Final Rule represents only a modest improvement from the proposal.

The fastest, most efficient way to lower carbon emissions remains through technology-neutral, market-oriented, consumer-focused policies that encourage all fueling technologies to improve their respective emissions. This rule does not do that. Instead, it functions as an effective mandate for a single technology that at this point has not proven itself to be more viable than other compelling solutions.

The associations represent 90 percent of fuel sold at retail. Fuel retailers are at the forefront of investments in new refueling technologies and are actively investing in many technologies that reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels. Rather than focus on a single technology, they all should be supported at a level that is proportionate with their relative climate benefits and commercial viability.

Additional policies and market reforms more closely tied to reality are necessary to encourage private sector investment in alternative fuel technologies, including electric vehicle charging stations.

Toward that end, NATSO, NACS and SIGMA urge the Biden Administration and Congress to pursue policies that:

  • Permit owners of direct current (DC) fast chargers to generate electronic Renewable Identification Numbers (e-RINs) when the electricity is produced from qualifying feedstocks. Allowing fuel retailers to capture the value derived from e-RINs would enable private fuel retailers to overcome arcane utility regulations that make it unnecessarily challenging to install and operate charging stations. Automakers, while lamenting the lack of publicly available charging stations, have at the same time discouraged EPA from allowing EV charging owners to generate valuable e-RINs, instead wanting the vehicle manufacturers to reap those benefits.
  • Create a new, competitive marketplace for fast, publicly accessible EV charging stations. Regulated utilities should be encouraged to create EV-specific rates that allow businesses to confidently invest in charging stations. Unless charging station operators can make money selling electricity to EV drivers, EV drivers will continue to have challenges finding attractive places to refuel. Grant money and stringent tailpipe emission standards cannot overcome that. 

Today’s Final Rule addresses the needs of automakers and their key manufacturing supply chains but does not sufficiently consider the need to build out a safe and reliable EV charging station network.

President Biden’s goal of establishing a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations is best achieved by harnessing the existing nationwide network of refueling locations. Fuel retailers today are installing electric vehicle charging stations without any clear signal that they will one day generate a return on the investment. The industry is accustomed to long return horizons for their investments; nevertheless, there must be a much clearer pathway to profitability than currently exists to meet the Biden Administration’s desired timetables.