ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NATSO, representing truckstops and travel plazas, SIGMA: America’s Leading Fuel Marketers, and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) applauded Congress for passing the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), H.R. 3684, which ensures a long-term plan for the nation’s highway and infrastructure programs while laying the groundwork for the future of transportation energy.
«We are extraordinarily grateful to the Biden Administration and the Members of Congress from across the ideological spectrum who worked with us on policies to support and encourage investments in alternative transportation energy,» said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. «H.R. 3684 represents sound public policy, and we commend lawmakers for ensuring adequate funding for America’s highways rather than allowing partisanship to jeopardize the long-term health of the nation’s infrastructure. We appreciate that Congress has ensured critical funding for America’s highways without tolling Interstate highways or commercializing rest areas, which would have discouraged the private sector from investing in electric vehicle charging and other emerging technologies.»
«The policies established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will go a long way toward encouraging private sector investments in alternative transportation energy,» said Richard Guttman, President of SIGMA. «We appreciate the difficult work it took to get bipartisan agreement on this bill and are pleased the policy choices made on transportation energy infrastructure point toward a future in which the private sector will have an incentive to act as a multiplier of federal funds to dramatically increase the alternative energy options available to consumers across the nation.»
«Public policy must ensure the private sector can invest in climate solutions in order to make progress,» said NACS President and CEO Henry O. Armour. «The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act does that and will help our industry reduce greenhouse gas emission in transportation and offer consumers alternative cleaner fueling choices. We appreciate the work of the Administration and Congress to get that accomplished.»
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act recognizes the essential role that the retail fuels industry must play in lowering the carbon intensity of transportation energy in the United States. NATSO, SIGMA and NACS support efforts to ensure consumers get affordable and reliable alternative fueling choices so that as the energy mix changes Americans enjoy all the benefits that they have with the fueling market today.
Grant programs established by H.R. 3684 will encourage investments in a range of alternative fuels, including electricity, hydrogen, biofuels and natural gas, by allowing for the benefits of innovation and technology development, which will give consumers options, all while competing for their business on price, speed and quality of service.
The market benefits American drivers when it is based on competitive market principles, just as traditional fueling has been in the United States. The IIJA correctly takes a technology neutral approach to alternative fuels so that there is competition among those technologies on price and reliability while prioritizing private investment so that customers pay competitive prices rather than socializing costs among all consumers.
NATSO, NACS and SIGMA appreciate that the IIJA did not incorporate provisions that would allow states to unfairly compete with the private sector by installing electric vehicle charging stations at rest areas and that locations for alternative fueling must take into account the availability of amenities such as food and restrooms.
The IIJA also requires state public utility commissions to use their positions to find ways to attract private investment to electric vehicle charging stations. Grant programs created within the IIJA also do not carry large risks of allowing utilities to «double-dip» and force electricity customers to pay for them to own and operate EV charging stations while also receiving federal funds for their installation.
About NATSO, NACS, and SIGMA
NATSO is the trade association of America’s travel plaza and truckstop industry. Founded in 1960, NATSO represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truckstop industry; provides education to its members; conducts an annual convention and trade show; and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate. Contact: Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, Vice President, Public Affairs. 703-739-8578
NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 153,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 165 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 1,900 retailer and 1,800 supplier members from more than 50 countries.
SIGMA is the national trade association representing the most successful, progressive, and innovative fuel marketers and chain retailers in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1958 as the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), SIGMA has become a fixture in the motor fuel marketing industry. Representing a diverse membership of approximately 250 independent chain retailers and marketers of motor fuel, the association serves to further the interests of both the branded and unbranded segment of the industry while providing information and services to members. For more information visit SIGMA.org.
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SOURCE NATSO, Inc.