The Biden administration is proposing regulations for electric vehicle chargers, and by one census, gasoline is reaching an average price of $5 a gallon.
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Biden officials propose EV charging regulations
The Biden administration announced new standards for federally funded electric vehicle chargers Wednesday night in a bid to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the United States
The standards will be formally set out in a proposed Federal Highway Administration rule, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Buttigieg says the rule requires EV charging stations to be located every 50 miles and no more than a mile from the freeway, emphasizing the freeway system and alternative fuel corridors.
“The proposed rule requires at least four 150-kilowatt DC fast-charging ports per station to allow the station to serve multiple customers, and it ensures safe installation and maintenance by skilled technicians, creating new jobs in this electric vehicle infrastructure sector,” said buttigieg .
Buttigieg said the proposal will also prevent any EV charging station that receives federal funding from requiring memberships in a club or loyalty program to use the chargers, “ensuring that charging stations funded under those programs have a be able to serve a wide range of vehicles… and it sends a market signal towards a standard charging port for stations to accommodate the largest possible number of vehicles and to accommodate adapters for all vehicles.”
Read more about the proposed standards here.
BIDEN TALKS ENERGY TO KIMMEL
President Biden said late Wednesday that Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) disagrees with other Democrats on climate policy as Democrats seek to push their policies in Congress.
President Biden late Wednesday noted some of the policy differences between Senate Democrats as the party struggles to advance some of its priorities.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, TV host Biden asked what he would say to Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
“They agree with many of these proposals,” Biden said. “The place they’re not there is — Joe isn’t there on a lot of things that have to do with climate and the environment because he’s from coal country and he has a different view.”
The background: His comments come as Democrats hope to broker a spending deal with Manchin on legislation that would tackle climate change and advance the president’s economic agenda.
The Average Gasoline Price Exceeds $5: GasBuddy
The average price of gasoline in the U.S. surpassed $5 a gallon for the first time Thursday, according to gas price site GasBuddy.
The latest peak price comes after months of rising prices and is likely to add to the Biden administration’s political headache, even though presidents have limited control over fuel prices.
In a statement, GasBuddy attributed price increases to high seasonal demand — people tend to drive more in the summer — and pandemic-related supply shortages.
The website and other experts have also cited Russia’s war in Ukraine and reduced US oil-to-gasoline refining capacity as additional factors.
In recent years, a handful of North American refineries have shut down due to a fire, flood and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All of these factors have created an environment ripe for a surge in gas prices, while Americans are price wary but continue to tank as demand has barely slacked,” the group said in a statement.
Read more about petrol prices here.
HOUSE PASS WATER BILL
The House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a bipartisan water infrastructure law, late Wednesday.
The law was passed between 384 and 37, with only Republicans opposing.
Held every two years, WRDA seeks to invest in ports and waterways and improve resilience.
US tries to compete on batteries
As battery-powered electric vehicles become a mainstay on the nation’s highways — and a key element of President Biden’s environmental policies — the US faces a formidable challenge in its efforts to compete in the global battery race.
“The problem is that we’re pretty far behind here,” Ethan Elkind, director of the climate program at Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, told The Hill.
“We should have planned this a decade ago,” he added. “But I think we can get things moving now that there’s bipartisan support for it.”
Some of that support was evident in November’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that earmarked $7.5 billion for a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers — and followed the Biden administration’s August statement that half of new cars sold in the US would be zero emissions by 2030.
Just last month, the US Department of Energy announced it would allocate $3.16 billion from the infrastructure bill to produce more batteries and related components in America while strengthening related supply chains.
Although lithium-ion battery technology was invented in the US in the 1970s, China has been able to control the supply chain until now.
“The Chinese Communist Party has been thinking very strategically for over 30 years about how I think they can get ahead of the rest of the world in the transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to one based on minerals and clean energy, and become too kind of a global powerhouse in this new energy economy,” said Abigail Wulf, director of critical minerals strategy at think tank Securing America’s Energy Future.
Wulf called the announcement of the $3 billion for batteries under the bipartisan infrastructure bill a “major” step in resolving the imbalance.
“Will it solve all our problems? No,” she said. “But it’s the first time our government has really achieved this on a larger scale, which I find really exciting.”
George Crabtree, senior scientist at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, noted that the US also lags “far behind” Europe in battery production. He said China’s dominance goes beyond mining materials.
“They have traveled the world doing business with the foreign suppliers. And they master a large part of the refinement of the materials that they do not mine themselves. So there’s really a two-tier lockdown in the supply chain,” he said.
Read more from Zack, Sharon Udasin and Caitlin McLean here.
This week, The Hill explores what’s next for electric and autonomous vehicles in the series “Driving into the future.“ Articles from Hill reporters and opinion leaders will be posted here throughout the week.
WHAT WE READ
- Proposed deal could reduce toxic emissions in America’s “Cancer Alley” (The Guardian).
- How a battery shortage is hampering the US shift to wind and solar power (Reuters)
- Illinois Gov. Signs PFAS Incineration Ban Bill (ABC7)
- California Urges San Francisco, Valley Farmers to Halt Water Diversion as Drought Worsens (Sacramento Bee)
- Lake Mead falls below 30% capacity (8NewsNow)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and reports. we will see you tomorrow
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