Editor’s note: Ordinarily, the passage of a bill of this sort would not be newsworthy on this site. However, two priorities that the bill recognizes may encourage the use of electric vehicles and hence boost demand for electric power, and ideally, wind generated power.
NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) says it welcomed the passage of legislation that supports wider deployment of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and electric vehicle charging systems on the nation’s highways, addresses the need to move freight more efficiently, reauthorizes the federal Export-Import Bank, and takes steps to improve the security of the electrical infrastructure. The core provision of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is a five-year authorization of federal surface transportation programs, including highways, rail, and transit.
“We congratulate the House of Representatives and the Senate on the achievement of a long-term highway bill,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff. “The legislation includes several of our industry’s priorities—infrastructure, electrical grid security, and trade among them—and we look forward to working with the administration on implementation. These initiatives are good for Americans and manufacturers large and small.”
The FAST Act passed the House in a 359 to 65 vote on December 3. The Senate approved it on the same day in a 83 to 16 vote.
NEMA priorities addressed in the FAST Act include:
- Development of a plan to create a strategic reserve of large power transformers
- Reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank until 2019
- Research, standardization, and deployment of ITS and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to make highways safer and more efficient
- Deployment of electric vehicle charging equipment along interstate highways and in federal buildings
The President is expected to sign the FAST Act into law as soon as next week. NEMA represents nearly 400 electrical, medical imaging, and radiation therapy manufacturers. The Association says its combined industries account for more than 400,000 American jobs and more than 7,000 facilities across the U.S. Domestic production exceeds $117 billion per year. The industry is at the forefront on electrical safety, reliability, resilience, efficiency, and energy security.
Filed Under: News, Policy