The annual Energy Independence Summit (EIS) is the nation’s premier clean transportation policy summit, presented every year in Washington, DC by Transportation Energy Partners (TEP). This year, the Energy Independence Summit will take place March 17-19, with U.S. DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm headlining a great lineup of speakers. Then, during the entire week of March 22, teams from across the country will hold direct meetings with members of Congress and staffs. This year, the entire Summit, including direct meetings, will be virtual. 

Clean Fuels Ohio has assembled four teams of members, each led by staff – about 20 members in all. Our goal is to hold meetings featuring members or staff with most of Ohio’s sixteen U.S. House members and two U.S. Senators.  CFO members will directly share information with Ohio members of Congress about clean transportation technologies and projects. Teams will also discuss specific federal policy issues. This will be the largest Ohio stakeholder contingent ever, and likely the largest of any state. 

At its February meeting, CFO’s Board of Directors adopted an updated federal policy agenda. This aligns closely with the TEP policy agenda. Within the overall agenda, CFO will focus on five top priorities: 

Clean Cities: Now entering its 28th year, Clean Cities, its 80+ coalitions and 15,000 stakeholders have displaced nearly 8 billion gallons of petroleum fuels. This has produced economic and environmental benefits for communities across the U.S. Congress should authorize the program to provide stability and increase funding to enable Clean Cities to serve every rural, urban, suburban community and state across America.  

Buy America for Clean Vehicles: Since the early 1990s and until 2017, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program has been an important local and state-level source of funding for clean, advanced vehicles and refueling. Congress and the Administration should adopt a new Buy America policy for CMAQ and other federal programs to deploy more clean vehicles while driving American jobs into clean vehicle and supply chain manufacturing. 

Clean Corridors: Congress should appropriate funding to deploy 500,000 EV chargers, plus additional low and zero emissions and net carbon fuels such as biodiesel, high ethanol blends, RNG, renewable propane, and hydrogen. EV chargers should serve a variety of locations, including travel corridors, urban, suburban and rural communities, workplaces, and residential properties lacking garage access. 

Incentives: Congress should approve five-year extensions of tax credits for clean, low carbon fuels (biodiesel, RNG, renewable Autogas, hydrogen), plus clean fueling and charging stations. The EV tax credit ceiling should be raised to at least 600,000 for each OEM with a “cash-for-clunkers” policy to accelerate replacing gas and diesel vehicles with inherently cleaner vehicles. Integrate financing tools through DOT and other agencies into clean vehicle and infrastructure programs. 

Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS): Support and strengthen the RFS. Increase volume targets for all renewable fuels and eliminate refinery waivers, so the policy operates as it was intended. Expand the standard to include additional non-liquid fuels, such as renewable sources of electricity used for EV charging and renewable sources of hydrogen fuel. 

Members and interested stakeholders can learn more about Clean Fuels Ohio’s federal policy work by contacting Tyler Fehrman, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, or Sam Spofforth, Chief Executive Officer.