Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE Commends Key Energy Security Provisions in Senate EPW Surface Transportation Bill

Contact: Alex Adams | 202.461.2374 |

Washington, D.C.—Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) applauds the introduction of a variety of critical measures introduced in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) surface transportation bill, which hold the potential to enhance U.S. energy security through greater fuel choice.

“The Senate EPW Committee deserves great credit for including measures that will enhance our energy security by speeding a transition away from oil as our dominant transport fuel,” said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE, “Now the challenge in the coming weeks and months is to ensure these provisions remain in place as the House and Senate continue to refine their bills. Transportation the world over is becoming digitized and electrified. Let’s not forfeit U.S. global leadership by neutering or abandoning these policies that will help us remain at the forefront of technological and transportation innovation.”

In its current format, the five-year, $287 billion bill will authorize federal surface transportation programs after the expiration of the FAST Act. The Senate EPW Committee’s bill includes big-ticket provisions that promise to bolster U.S. energy security by promoting measures that accelerate the electrification of the American vehicle fleet, including:

  • Establishing a competitive grant program to support the national expansion of infrastructure that will support the accelerated uptake of alternative fuel vehicles. (Sec. 1401)
  • Creating a competitive grant program to reduce truck emissions at port facilities and accelerating port electrification. (Sec. 1402)
  • Instructs the Federal Highway Administration to study how to prepare for freight electrification and automation. (Sec. 1405)
  • Forming an interagency working group on accelerating the transition of the federal fleet to electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles. (Sec. 1510)
  • Instructing the U.S. Department of Transportation to study the safety benefits of dedicated short-range communications. (Sec. 1513)

SAFE also commends the inclusion of Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s amendment to commence a study of the impacts of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on U.S. transportation infrastructure, mobility and safety – including the impact on traffic flows, an assessment of potential infrastructure improvements, and the impact of AVs on vehicle miles traveled. “Sen. Duckworth’s study is necessary to better understand, prepare for and have the U.S. lead the coming AV future,” said Diamond.

The U.S. transportation system is currently 92 percent dependent on petroleum, with no alternatives available at scale. When oil prices spike, this lack of diversity in the U.S. fuel mix leaves consumers and businesses with nowhere to turn. Electricity is a domestically-produced fuel that is both diverse in source and stable in price which not only provides another fuel option for drivers but also represents the future of global transportation—a market worth hundreds of billions of dollars and is currently being led by China.

About Securing America’s Future Energy

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.



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