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2016 Alternative Fuels Federal Policy Agenda
Stabilize Gas Prices, Reduce Foreign Oil Dependence, Create Jobs

Despite the recent drop in gasoline prices, they still remain volatile and we continue to send $300 billion a year to OPEC and other countries for oil. Meanwhile, China and other nations threaten to beat out the United States for leadership of the global clean energy market as we continue our struggle for economic recovery. More than 70 percent of the oil we import is used as our primary transportation fuel – as gasoline for our national fleet of 250 million cars and light trucks, or as diesel fuel for our 8 million heavy-duty trucks.

American ingenuity and technology innovation have enabled vehicles using electricity, natural gas, propane, biodiesel, ethanol and hydrogen to take hold in the market place. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there are nearly 1.2 million alternative fuel vehicles in use in the United States and more than 38,000 alternative fueling stations. Yet this represents a small fraction of the total American fleet.

The United States must aggressively expand our use of domestically produced alternatives to petroleum fuel if we are to stabilize gasoline prices, decrease our reliance on foreign oil, and maintain and create American jobs.

Now is the time for Congress to continue the nation’s investment in clean American fuels and vehicles by acting immediately on the following urgent policy matters:

  1. 1. Provide a five year extension of the tax incentives for alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure, many of which will expire at the end of 2016;
  2. 2. Provide sufficient federal funding in FY 2017 for the Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities alternative fuel deployment program and the U.S. EPA Diesel Emission Reduction Grants; and
  3. Preserve the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

Investment in Clean Transportation Creates American Jobs

In addition to enhancing our energy security, the clean transportation industry is also critical to our economic growth and global competiveness.

  •  The more than 400,000 plug-in electric vehicles on the road are a highly visible point in the larger, and expanding, electric supply chain. The global market for lithium ion batteries in the light duty fleet will grow from $3.2 billion in 2013 to $24.1 billion in 2023; the revenue in the infrastructure segment is projected to grow to $5.8 billion in annual revenue by 2022.
  •  The ethanol industry contributes more than $52 billion to our nation’s economy, including nearly 400,000 American jobs.
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  •  On America’s roads, there are nearly 150,000 buses, delivery trucks and vans, taxicabs, and other vehicles running on clean-burning propane. With an extensive propane distribution network in place, consumers are able to access record-high stocks of propane to meet their vehicle fueling needs.
  •  The U.S. is the number one producer of natural gas in the world, and American businesses and consumers continue to embrace natural gas vehicles. Approximately 155,000 NGVs operate on America’s roads today. These vehicles are supported by 1,750 fueling stations that are connected by 1.5 million miles of natural gas pipelines. Projections indicate that the transportation sector will consume 1.2 trillion cubic feet of clean burning, domestic natural gas by 2030 and that 50 percent of the light and heavy duty vehicle markets could be powered by natural gas by 2050.
Transportation Energy Partners 2016 Federal Policy Priorities

Extend Tax Incentives for Alternative Fuels, Vehicles and Infrastructure

Congress should provide a 5 year extension of the following tax incentives, in order to provide policy stability and certainty to investors in the broad array of domestic alternative fuels, vehicles and technologies.
  • Tax credit that supports electric charging, natural gas, propane and biofuels infrastructure
  • Tax credit for sellers of natural gas and propane
  • Tax credit for producers of biodiesel and cellulosic biofuels
  • Special depreciation allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property
  • Tax credit for conversion to plug-in hybrid vehicles
  • Tax credit for purchases of alternative fuel vehicles (Maintain credit for electric vehicles and reinstate credit for natural gas and propane vehicles)

Ensure Adequate Federal Funding in FY 2017 for Key Alternative Fuels Programs

Congress should support funding for the following federal programs, which advance the development and deployment of clean transportation technologies:
  • Congress should provide $50 million for the DOE Clean Cities program, including $25 million in competitive grants for new alternative fuel and vehicle deployment strategies. Clean Cities is DOE’s only initiative focused on the deployment of alternative fuels, vehicles, and infrastructure.
  • Congress should provide at least $70 million for the EPA Clean Diesel Grants program.

Preserve the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)

Congress should reject efforts led by the oil industry to undermine, reform or eliminate the RFS, which sets annual standards for production and use of conventional and advanced biofuels. Congress should also encourage the Obama Administration and the EPA to continue growing RFS volumes to ensure that we are diversifying the fuels market with clean alternatives that are creating jobs and cutting pollution here at home. The RFS is working. Renewable fuels have helped reduce oil imports by 25 percent since 2000 and now provide 10 percent of America’s on-road transportation needs. The RFS supports more than 400,000 jobs nationwide across the economy. In addition to ethanol, the RFS is stimulating impressive growth in Advanced Biofuels such as biodiesel, which last year produced a record 2 billion gallons and is poised for significant growth under a stable RFS. As a result of the RFS, the first commercial facilities producing cellulosic renewable fuels are up and running and several more are under construction. For the advanced biofuels industry to continue to attract investment and flourish, it needs the policy stability provided by the RFS.

Transportation Energy Partners (TEP) is an independent, national, non-profit policy and education organization that brings Clean Cities coalition leaders together with the clean transportation industry to advance policies that will reduce American dependence on petroleum-based fuels. Since 1993, the nation’s nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions and their 18,000 stakeholders have played a leading role in implementing local programs and projects to deploy alternative fuels, vehicles, and infrastructure that has reduced petroleum consumption by more than 5 billion gallons.

View the Senate Letter Addressing the RFS.

View the TEP Letter to Tax Committees on Alternative Fuel Incentives.

View the TEP Request to Maintain Funding for DOE Deployment of Alternative Fuels and Vehicles.

For more information, contact:

Sam Spofforth, TEP President ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 614-884-7336)

OR

Ken Brown, TEP Consultant ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-674-7777).

 
 
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