ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Yesterday, AJ Siccardi, president of Metroplex Energy, testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy on behalf of NACS, SIGMA and NATSO in a hearing entitled, “The CLEAN Future Act: Driving Decarbonization of the Transportation Sector.”
Siccardi shared the convenience and fuel retailing perspective on decarbonizing the transportation sector and the push by lawmakers to move away from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles. Atlanta-based Metroplex, a wholesale fuel company, is a subsidiary of RaceTrac.
“The fuel retailing industry is indispensable to decarbonizing the transportation sector—both through the sale of cleaner liquid fuels and electric vehicles. We want to partner with Congress to help achieve environmental goals in a market-oriented and affordable manner,” Siccardi told the subcommittee.
“Fuel retailers represent the consumer. We don’t care what types of fuel our customers choose to buy from us. We simply identify the most reliable, lowest cost fuels that people want to buy, and deliver those fuels throughout the country. We compete with one another on price, speed, quality of our facilities and service. This dynamic is good for the consumer,” Siccardi said.
Several members of Congress from both sides of the aisle emphasized parts of Siccardi’s testimony. In particular, representatives Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Greg Pence (R-Ind.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), and Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) focused on the impediments to the business case facing fuel retailers today and the importance of dealing with those impediments. Several members also raised concerns on the unfairness of lower-income families and non-EV owners paying for EVs and charging of those EVs.
In responding to questions by members of the subcommittee, Siccardi emphasized the importance of competition and removing barriers to private sector investment if there is any chance of success in building out publicly available chargers for electric vehicles and reducing “range anxiety.”
Other witnesses included representatives from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Zero Emissions Transportation Association, the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Works of America (UAW), and the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Center for Energy Studies, Rice University.
Siccardi shared that RaceTrac has built about 40 new stores a year since 2015, “investing about $225 million each year across our footprint,” he said. “We plan to invest another $300 million to build 31 new stores in 2021, which will lead to expanded employment opportunities as each of our stores employs approximately 20-22 people. The company has also invested over $33 million in alternative fuels infrastructure. Because of those investments, we are able to sell alternative fuels, including E15, E85, and B20 biodiesel to customers that want to buy those products and are a market leader in our sales of higher biofuel blends.”
As the EV market continues to grow and charging expands in North America, the Fuels Institute’s Electric Vehicle Council is providing guidance for companies to evaluate how, when and why to enter the market. The Fuels Institute last month published the “EV Market Regulatory Report” to guide retailers looking to offer EV charging in the decision-making and strategic planning process by exploring regulations that could affect installation of electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE). The report also helps policymakers identify and implement appropriate regulatory provisions. Download the EV Market Regulatory Report.
For more information on EV infrastructure, watch this YouTube video by the Fuels Institute and NACS.
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