ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- NATSO, the national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) today encouraged lawmakers to support private investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and reconsider a provision of the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow's (LIFT) America Act (H.R.2741) that would allow public utilities to use rate payer dollars to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
NATSO, NACS, PMAA, and SIGMA believe private sector involvement in the installation of electric vehicle charging stations is key to meeting the fueling needs of the motoring public—and the associations' members are working to invest in that infrastructure. Allowing public utilities to unfairly compete against the private sector by utilizing rate payer dollars to make such investments, however, will effectively destroy the incentive for private sector investment, the groups said in a letter to Congressmen Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-Ore.). Such a practice also unfairly places the burden for infrastructure developments onto the shoulders of low-income Americans.
"We all favor increased electric vehicle charging infrastructure," said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. "But for EVs to be successful, policies should seek to attract private investment into EV charging so that we build and foster a dynamic, competitive marketplace for EV fueling. That type of market has served current vehicle owners well and would serve future vehicle owners."
When public utility commissions allow utilities to utilize rate payer dollars to underwrite their investments in electric vehicle charging, utilities are getting a special leg up into a market without putting a single capital investment at risk. This un-level playing field discourages fuel retailers from investing in EV charging because they cannot compete with utilities in this environment. The end result will be fewer electric vehicle charging stations for consumers and ultimately fewer electric vehicles will be adopted.
"We have no objection to utility companies investing in EV charging infrastructure provided they do so via their unregulated businesses," said Paige Anderson, NACS director of government relations. "This would result in a level playing field, where all parties are putting capital at risk and have similar incentives to respond to consumer demand and compete on quality and price."
PMAA President Rob Underwood, said, "With a monopoly position, utility companies will be able to charge consumers more for electricity than the market would bear. And, utility companies will never be able to replicate the ubiquity and convenience of the private sector fueling market. More than 100,000 retail locations provide fuel to American consumers every day. For electric charging to reach that type of market coverage, we must have private investment."
Furthermore, allowing utilities to fund EV infrastructure development through the rate base will saddle low-income electricity ratepayers with the costs of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
"We understand the need to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure and we are working to invest in that infrastructure and have been doing so for some time," said SIGMA President Brad Puryear. "But funding that development through electricity ratepayers will result in less EV charging infrastructure and will create a regressive funding scheme that is not fair to low-income Americans."
About NATSO, NACS, PMAA, and SIGMA
NATSO is the trade association of America's travel plaza and truckstop industry. Founded in 1960, NATSO represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truckstop industry; provides education to its members; conducts an annual convention and trade show; and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate.
NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 153,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 165 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 1,900 retailer and 1,800 supplier members from more than 50 countries.
PMAA represents petroleum marketers engaged in the transport, storage and sale of petroleum products including gasoline, diesel fuels, kerosene, jet fuel, aviation gasoline, propane, racing fuel, lubricating oils, and home heating oil and other petroleum products. PMAA members are the primary conduit for bringing petroleum products from the terminal rack to retail locations and represent a vital, indispensable link in the nation's petroleum distribution chain. PMAA companies also own 60,000 retail fuel outlets such as gas stations, convenience stores and truck stops. Additionally, these companies supply heating oil to over eight million homes and businesses. Approximately 80 percent of the motor fuels (gasoline and diesel) and heating oil sold in the U.S. are sold by petroleum marketers. There are several thousand petroleum marketers operating in the U.S. Roughly 90 percent of these marketers are members of PMAA's federated State and Regional trade associations, and are represented by PMAA at the Federal level.
SIGMA represents a diverse membership of approximately 260 independent chain retailers and marketers of motor fuel. Member retail outlets come in many forms including truckstops, traditional "gas stations," convenience stores with gas pumps, cardlocks, and unattended public fueling locations.
Together, NATSO, NACS, PMAA, and SIGMA represent approximately 90% of retail sales of motor fuel in the United States.
CONTACT: Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman
Phone: (703) 739-8578