CALSTART commends Chairman DeFazio (D-OR) and the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure for the release of the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act,” a five-year, $494 billion down payment that represents a strong investment in our highways, transportation infrastructure, clean transit and commercial vehicles, and support of critical transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and pollution reductions.
“We commend Chairman DeFazio and the House T&I Committee for putting forth a bold vision of what needs to be done to improve our transportation system, address the climate threat, and re-start the economy. This bill will help support the growth of the United States clean transportation technology industry, and the rebuilding of America,” said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel.
Of specific benefit for CALSTART’s 250 member companies are the INVEST Act’s provisions for increasing the funding for the Low or No Emissions Bus (Low-No) program by five times. This $1.7 billion investment will address the chronic oversubscription of the Federal Transit Agency’s competitive grant program that to date has helped transit agencies across the U.S. deploy zero- and low-emission buses and related infrastructure.
Consistent with the recommendations of the newly CALSTART organized Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) & Innovative Mobility Coalition, the INVEST in America Act supports investments in innovative mobility projects and grants for multimodal solutions. The bill also calls for funding of workforce training for new technologies including zero-emission buses.
CALSTART also supports the INVEST in America Act’s inclusion of $350 million annually for a competitive grant program for alternative fuel infrastructure along federal highway corridors. CALSTART has worked over the past several years with federal and industry partners to designate federal highway corridors for alternative infrastructure buildout. These grants represent taking the next step in putting federal investments to work in those projects. CALSTART’s Clean Corridor Campaign Coalition recently sent a letter to the Committee advocating for Corridor grant investments for electric vehicle charging, hydrogen refueling, and natural gas refueling infrastructure along these corridors. We look forward to working with the Committee and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to make the competitive grant program a reality.
Finally, CALSTART is pleased to see that the INVEST in America Act supports new formula funds for carbon pollution reduction and $250 million in community climate innovation grants to reduce GHG emissions. These investments are in line with CALSTART’s 2030 goals of supporting the reduction of all U.S. transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels. Moreover, the INVEST Act’s inclusion of $250M for gridlock reduction grants for freight movement in congested areas — including first-mile and last-mile solutions and addressing freight congestion in areas seeing recurrent gridlock like regional freight hubs — is in line with CALSTART’s goal of increasing the number of new zero-emission trucks (ZETs) or near-zero commercial vehicles sold to 30% of all U.S. commercial truck sales by 2030.