Washington, D.C.—Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) commends the U.S. House of Representatives’ inclusion of a number of key transportation and energy provisions in H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, that will enhance the country’s economic recovery, bolster U.S. energy security and strengthen the United States’ hand against China’s current lead in the next era of transportation.
SAFE is especially pleased that this bill expands the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program (ATVM)—a program that supports the manufacturing of alternative fuel vehicles—from its original light-duty passenger focus to include medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses, fleet vehicles, and trucks. These changes would help reduce the United States’ dependence on oil by diversifying fuels used to power our cars and trucks.
“Connected, shared, autonomous and electric vehicles are the future of transportation, and China’s lead presents a profound threat to the U.S. economy, security, and industrial base. Losing this race risks more than just vehicle sales—we risk losing our advanced manufacturing economy. ATVM is proven to support domestic manufacturing, and we must expand it to preserve our technological advantage in these critical new transportation technologies,” said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE.
SAFE advocated for the expansion of the ATVM program to include medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in its recent “Get America Moving Again” (GAMA) economic recovery and national security report, which notes that ATVM has contributed to a total of 17 facilities being built or retrofitted in nine states to date, leading to the direct employment of 38,000 Americans in automotive manufacturing and reducing annual gasoline consumption by 282 million gallons.
Among the other key provisions from SAFE’s GAMA report that are reflected in the “Moving Forward” Act are the following.
- Low-/Zero-Emission Bus Grants: Expand the deployment of alternative-fueled and electric buses, and the related charging infrastructure.
- Electric vehicle charging infrastructure: Incent and facilitate the deployment of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in alternative fueling corridors to help reduce range anxiety and facilitate wider electric vehicle deployment.
- EV, EV-charging, battery storage, clean energy, and energy efficiency tax credits: Extend and create tax credits, including modifications SAFE advanced, to help create market certainty, incentivize deployment of these technologies, create jobs, and enhance national security;
- Grid modernization: Facilitate partnerships to modernize the electric grid. Essential to enhancing grid reliability, resilience, and security; modernization will help isolate power outages, and help restore power remotely and more rapidly. Past grid modernization programs have contributed nearly 50,000 jobs and over $4 billion to GDP.
- Made in America buses and rail stock: Prohibits the purchase of Chinese-manufactured electric buses and removes a delay in enacting this provision.
“We do not want to shift our dependence on Middle Eastern oil to a dependence on China for rare earth minerals, EV batteries and the transportation technologies of the future so we need to build the supply chain in the U.S. but that starts with the vehicles and market demand. SAFE urges the House and Senate to enact these critical provisions to get Americans back to work, and enhance economic growth and national security,” Diamond added.
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