U.S. Legislative Issues - January 2020

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Release date: 1/17/2020

On January 9, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy Subcommittee held a markup to pass several bills, which will now go to the full committee for consideration. Among the bills, three were of note for NAFA:
H.R. 2906, the Clean Commute for Kids Act, would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct05) to reauthorize and update the Clean School Bus Program. The Clean School Bus Program offers competitive grant funding for modernizing school bus fleets. The bill broadens grant eligibility criteria to include electric vehicles and provides prioritization for applicants seeking to acquire clean school buses with low or zero emissions. H.R. 2906 reauthorizes the Clean School Bus program at $50 million annually from FY 2020-2025.
H.R. 5518 would reauthorize the Energy Department’s Clean Cities Coalition Program to encourage the use of alternative fuels and vehicles at $50 million beginning in fiscal 2020. That level would increase to $100 million in fiscal 2024. NAFA was a part of a coalition letter sent to members of the E&C Subcommittee on January 8th in support of the bill.
H.R. 5545, the New Opportunities to Expand Healthy Air Using Sustainable Transportation (NO EXHAUST) Act, would promote U.S. manufacture and use of advanced, fuel-efficient vehicles, and zero-emission vehicles. The bill expands access to EV charging infrastructure in several ways, such as through a new program to provide rebates to offset the cost of purchasing and installing new EV charging stations. The bill also increases the percentage of alt fueled vehicles that federal agencies must acquire, sets minimum requirements for the percentage of alt fueled vehicles that must be zero-emission vehicles, increases the requirement for federal use of alt fuels, and includes a new requirement to reduce federal fleet greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, E&C Majority leaders released the legislative framework on Wednesday for a broad bill that calls for the U.S. to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas pollution no later than 2050, the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act. The CLEAN Future Act will have an extensive title for transportation policies, which is expected to raise vehicle efficiency and emissions standards, as well as bolster EV charging infrastructure, DERA, and the Clean Cities Coalition Program. The legislative text of the draft should be released by the end of the month.
Finally, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced on Monday that the agency was releasing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to establish new, more stringent emission standards for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and other pollutants for heavy-duty engines through its Cleaner Trucks Initiative. The EPA is seeking public input on its forthcoming rulemaking which would implement the first revisions to the NOx emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks since January 2001. Additionally, the EPA has published a fact sheet outlining its priorities and goals for the forthcoming notice of proposed rulemaking."