ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NATSO, representing the nation's truckstops and travel plazas, penned a letter to the Biden Administration outlining the market and incentive structure that would most effectively prompt existing fuel retailers to invest more in lower carbon fuels, including electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
NATSO, alongside NACS and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), outlined six principles that should guide the administration's approach to lowering the carbon footprint of transportation fuel. The letter was sent on Jan. 27 to the Secretary Designates for the Departments of Transportation and Energy as well as the Administrator Designate for the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Climate Advisor.
Collectively, NATSO, NACS and SIGMA represent approximately 90 percent of retail sales of motor fuel in the United States and represent an established nationwide network of hundreds of thousands of fueling locations.
"Policies that adhere to these organizing ideas will enable the Biden Administration to achieve its climate goals. We want to help them take advantage of the existing fuel retailing landscape and harness the desire of the private sector to sell fuels that consumers want to buy at the lowest-possible price," said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. "The case for new fuel strategies is enhanced when we utilize the ingenuity of the private sector."
Specifically, the fuel retailing groups articulated the following principles that, if adopted, will align policy incentives to ensure the private sector is equipped to facilitate a faster, more widespread and cost-effective transition to alternative fuels:
- Science should be the foundation for transportation climate policies.
- Establish performance goals without mandating specific technologies to allow for the benefits of innovation and technology development.
- Develop competitive market incentives to ensure a level playing field and provide long-term consumer benefits.
- Harness existing infrastructure to help commercialize new technology, maximize diverse investments, and achieve near-term and long-term emission reduction goals.
- Set consistent, uniform national policy so that the market has certainty to help it invest and state policies do not create inconsistent or counterproductive measures.
- Ensure fair treatment so that all households are not forced to subsidize alternative energy users.
"Fuel retailers across the country represent the best opportunity for achieving the Biden Administration's objectives of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and advancing alternative fuels," said NATSO Vice President of Government Affairs David Fialkov. "We want to work constructively with the Administration and continue working constructively with Congress as more alternative fuels, including electricity, become part of the transportation mix. Drivers have come to expect a certain experience when they refuel, and our members' facilities are best equipped to accommodate them."
The retail fuel community's letter to the Biden Administration can read here.
Advancing the number of EV charging stations across the United States, NATSO formed the National Highway Charging Collaborative in 2019 in conjunction with EV charging vendor ChargePoint. The Collaborative will add EV charging to more than 4,000 travel plazas in the next decade, increasing access along highways and in rural America by filling alternative fuel infrastructure gaps along the National Highway System, including along the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) designated alternative fuel corridors.
Based in Alexandria, NATSO represents the truckstops and travel plaza 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.