Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Senate Consumer Protection Committee Unanimously Reports Out Bill To Promote Electric, CNG, Hydrogen Vehicle Infrastructure Development

On October 30, the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee unanimously reported out Senate Bill 596 (Mensch-R-Montgomery) designed to promote the development of clean transportation infrastructure to support electric, natural gas and hydrogen vehicles.
The Committee amended the bill to provide Public Utility Commission oversight of the program.
The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
The legislation would--
-- Establish a state goal of increasing electrification by at least 50 percent over currently forecasted levels by 2030;
-- Require the development of regional electrification infrastructure frameworks for metropolitan areas;
-- Direct electric utilities to develop infrastructure implementation plans to support the development of these networks under Public Utility Commission oversight; and
-- Direct the Governor to submit recommendations to the General Assembly and PUC on strategies to promote other clean transportation options, including CNG and hydrogen.
“Shifting Pennsylvania’s transportation systems to cleaner, more efficient resources offers a unique opportunity to advance our energy, environmental and economic development goals,” said Sen. Bob Mensch, prime sponsor of the bill when it was introduced in April.  “Every year, we see new electric and naturally-powered vehicles introduced in the market, and these cars, trucks and buses are rapidly becoming more affordable and well-suited to our lifestyles.
“We’re also seeing increasing opportunities to use electricity for off-road uses in our ports, airports and heavy equipment to drive our economy forward,” explained Sen. Mensch.  “As increasing numbers of Pennsylvania consumers and businesses consider choosing alternative energy vehicles, and our businesses look for opportunities to invest in cleaner, more efficient equipment, we must ensure that well-planned charging and refueling infrastructures are deployed in the state.”
Click Here to watch a video of the meeting.
“Everyone stands to benefit when we increase the number of electric vehicles – from cars to trucks to buses – on Pennsylvania roads," said Kathy Harris, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council.  "This bipartisan effort will help Pennsylvania jumpstart its clean transportation network while curbing harmful climate pollution. At the same time, it will help spur investment in the state – boosting the economy and creating local clean energy jobs. This is a major leap forward that will help the state catch up to its neighbors across the Northeast region.”
Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) serves as Majority Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-5072 or sending email to:  Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-4236 or sending email to:
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[Posted: October 30, 2019]

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