Over the next month, the House and Senate will consider reauthorization of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and continue negotiating a potential large-scale infrastructure package with the Biden Administration. With an infrastructure package possible, it is imperative for Congress to hear from MEMA’s member companies and ensure that small businesses are part of the conversation.
Section 1303 of the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2 – 116th Congress) proposed creating an alternative fuel infrastructure grant program, which would provide funds for states to deploy EV charging and natural gas, propane, and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors. The Senate’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act includes similar language. As proposed, the program could authorize over a billion dollars in grants – all while placing small business energy marketers at a competitive disadvantage as award preference could be given to large companies with multiple locations along major transportation routes. Ultimately, small businesses should be protected by dedicating a portion of federal grant money to small businesses with less than 500 employees and by including guardrails to ensure that utilities and non-utilities play on the same field.
MEMa members can play an important role in giving our industry a seat at the table for these crucial infrastructure discussions. Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recognizes the importance of small business marketers and is leading a letter to House leadership in support of our efforts.