PPA Continuing To Oppose State EV Infrastructure Bill
PPA has been engaged in opposing the provisions of Senate Bill 435 from being added to a state budget code bill. The legislation, which is being aggressively pushed by PECO, would allow utilities to recover the cost of building electric vehicle charger facilities from their ratepayers.
This bill was stalled last year in the Senate due to an opposition campaign from PPA, API, NFIB (who called the cost recovery from ratepayers a “new tax”) and Energy Transfer Partners.
PECO is attempting to circumvent the normal legislative process by having this provision added to a code bill (such as the Fiscal or Administrative code). These Code bills are companion bills to the state budget bill that is slated to be passed this week.
Code bills are amended with the agreement of state legislative leaders in closed door negotiations. It has been reported that Senator President Pro Tempore Jake Corman has floated the PECO proposal for consideration in this process.
PPA and its coalition partners have been communicating with the leadership in both the House and Senate, urging them not to include this tax in the final budget plan.
We are also alerting rank and file members of both bodies to register their opposition with their leadership.
The primary concern of PPA in this current fight is that by allowing electric utilities to use ratepayer money in these projects, they ultimately would be permitted to compete unfairly with the private sector in the retail EV charging business.
However, the passage of this amendment could also prove to be a dangerous precedent for utility efforts to allow ratepayer subsidy of other projects such as the expansion of natural gas lines.
PPA has successfully fought such measures in the past. But there is still a bill (House Bill 1285) pending in the House Consumer Affairs Committee that includes the EV charger network and natural gas lines as being subject to ratepayer subsidy.