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SAFE commends energy security provisions in transportation bill

Would authorize federal surface transportation programs after the expiration of the FAST Act.

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) on July 30 applauded the introduction of a variety of critical measures introduced in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) surface transportation bill, which hold the potential to enhance U.S. energy security through greater fuel choice.

“The Senate EPW Committee deserves great credit for including measures that will enhance our energy security by speeding a transition away from oil as our dominant transport fuel,” said Robbie Diamond, president and CEO of SAFE, “Now the challenge in the coming weeks and months is to ensure these provisions remain in place as the House and Senate continue to refine their bills. Transportation the world over is becoming digitized and electrified. Let’s not forfeit U.S. global leadership by neutering or abandoning these policies that will help us remain at the forefront of technological and transportation innovation.”

In its current format, the five-year, $287 billion bill will authorize federal surface transportation programs after the expiration of the FAST Act. The Senate EPW Committee’s bill includes big-ticket provisions that promise to bolster U.S. energy security by promoting measures that accelerate the electrification of the American vehicle fleet, including:

  • Establishing a competitive grant program to support the national expansion of infrastructure that will support the accelerated uptake of alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Creating a competitive grant program to reduce truck emissions at port facilities and accelerating port electrification.
  • Instructs the Federal Highway Administration to study how to prepare for freight electrification and automation.
  • Forming an interagency working group on accelerating the transition of the federal fleet to electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Instructing the U.S. Department of Transportation to study the safety benefits of dedicated short-range communications.

SAFE also commended the inclusion of Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s amendment to commence a study of the impacts of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on U.S. transportation infrastructure, mobility and safety – including the impact on traffic flows, an assessment of potential infrastructure improvements, and the impact of AVs on vehicle miles traveled. “Sen. Duckworth’s study is necessary to better understand, prepare for and have the U.S. lead the coming AV future,” said Diamond.

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