The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday passed the first-ever climate title in a surface transportation reauthorization bill.
The bill aims to establish a grant program that would be available to states, counties, municipalities, tribes and agencies working to make public charging infrastructure more widely accessible. It also seeks “to foster enhanced, coordinated, public-private or private investment in alternative fuel infrastructure.”U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), today celebrated the EPW Committee’s passage of the first-ever surface transportation reauthorization title committed to fighting climate change and adapting infrastructure to our worsening climate reality.
This climate title is featured in America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), which was co-authored by Ranking Member Carper and introduced on July 29. Leader Schumer in 2018 made clear that climate change must be addressed in any infrastructure bill moving forward, and Senators Carper and Schumer penned a May 2019 op-ed stressing the need for infrastructure legislation to reduce emissions and improve the resiliency of our roads.
Bill S. 2302, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act, earmarks $1 billion in funding for competitive grants to support the development of fueling infrastructure for electric, natural gas and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The bill also directs federal agencies to transition their vehicle fleets to hybrid-electric, electric and alternative fuels within a year of enactment.
Invests in states to reduce global warming pollution
ATIA includes $3 billion over the next 5 years to be distributed to states and cities for projects dedicated to lowering carbon emissions. This new program creates incentives to reduce emissions by providing greater project flexibility to states and cities that develop carbon emission reduction plans. ATIA provides an additional $500 million in performance awards to states and cities that successfully reduce emissions.
In preparation for the expected increase of alternative fuel vehicles, the bill establishes a competitive grant
program funded at $1 billion over 5 years, for states and localities to build hydrogen, natural gas, and electric
vehicle fueling infrastructure along designated highway corridors, which lack such infrastructure.
Supports clean cars of the future
To support the growing market for electric and alternative fuel vehicles, “ATIA provides $1 billion in competitive grants over the next 5 years for states and localities to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as well as hydrogen and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated highway corridors.”