E&C Republican Leaders Demand Answers on the Biden Administration’s Ineffective EV Infrastructure Program
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg regarding growing concerns over the Biden administration’s inability to implement the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant programs, as well as the implications for American taxpayers. KEY QUOTE: “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provided $5 billion for the NEVI Formula Program ($1 billion annually from FY22-FY26), and a total of $2.5 billion from FY22-FY26 for the CFI Discretionary Grant Program. Despite recent award announcements, little progress has been made in the buildout of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. On December 15, 2023, the Department of Energy and Department of Transportation announced the opening of America’s first EV fast charging stations funded through the NEVI Formula Program: in Ohio and New York. This announcement for merely eight charging stations comes more than two years after the passage of the IIJA. “The problems with these programs continue to grow – delays in the delivery of chargers, concerns from States about labor contracting requirements and minimum operating standards for chargers, the fact that 22 States (44 percent) have not issued solicitations for NEVI funding, and the limited and questionable delivery of awards from the CFI Discretionary Grant Program.” Members asked Secretaries Granholm and Buttigieg to answer the following questions by March 7, 2024: How many EV chargers does the administration expect to be constructed using NEVI Formula Program and CFI Discretionary Grant Program funds in 2024? Because private sector deployment of EV chargers is outpacing the federal government, how is the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation updating its review of State plans to ensure federal dollars do not overbuild private sector investments? In the Federal Highway Administration’s January 11, 2024, press release, it stated, “More than 70 percent of the CFI funding announced today will support project sites in disadvantaged communities.” Understanding EVs are extremely cost prohibitive for many, expensive to maintain, and have high insurance costs, can you please share how the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation is ensuring charging stations being awarded will receive maximized usage? What changes is the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation making to ensure the timely review of State plans and delivery of awards? Regarding the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation: How many employees does the office have? What is the administrative budget for the office for each year since it has been in existence? Considering the Biden administration’s waiver of Buy America requirements for steel, iron, manufactured products, and construction materials in EV chargers, how will you ensure federal funds are not supporting Chinese or Chinese-affiliated entities? IN THE NEWS: “Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are demanding answers from two federal agencies regarding the Biden administration’s lagging electric vehicle (EV) charger subsidy program.” […] “Beyond noting that the rollout has been sluggish to date, the lawmakers asked the agencies to provide estimates of how many chargers the administration is anticipating the program will help build by the end of the year and steps the agencies are taking to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not benefit Chinese interests in light of the administration’s ‘Buy America’ requirement waiver for certain charger components.” CLICK HERE to read the full article from the Daily Caller. CLICK HERE to read the full letter.