EMA, Other Groups Urge Midwest Senators To Include Small Business Safeguards In Potential Surface Transportation Bill

Last week, EMA, FUELIowa and the Illinois Fuel & Retail Association sent a letter to Midwest U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) urging them to include small business protection should Congress enact the Alternative Energy Grant Program in a future transportation package.

Last year, Congress proposed the creation of a grant program for states to deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along designated alternative fuel corridors which EMA is concerned that grant funds may be consumed by large corporations before small businesses have an opportunity to apply.

The letter stated, “Should this provision be included in future legislation, we request that the program reserve at least one-third of total funding for independent fuel marketing businesses, with fewer than 500 hundred employees, located along designated alternative fuel corridors. Importantly, we ask that the program be fuel neutral to ensure that all types of energy infrastructure including underground storage tank systems be included in the program in order to safely and legally sell higher biofuel blends (E10 plus and B20 plus blends).” Click here to read the letter.

“We believe this is a win-win for the fuel marketing industry and renewable fuel interests to ensure small business fuel marketers have the funds necessary to make upgrades to underground storage tank system infrastructure in order to sell higher biofuel blends as well as sell electricity/hydrogen under the Alternative Energy Grant Program,” said EMA President Rob Underwood.

Recently, EMA sent a letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as well as a letter to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee outlining energy marketers transportation and infrastructure priorities.

EMA emphasized the importance of creating safeguards to ensure small business marketers can access vital federal funds to advance alternative energy goals. EMA also voiced concerns over rest area commercialization and utilities using ratepayers to unfairly build out EV infrastructure.

In addition, EMA voiced support for the Drive-Safe Act which would establish an apprenticeship program for the legal operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by CDL holders under the age of 21.

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