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June 11, 2021 2:00 PM, EDT

ATA Unveils Climate and Clean Energy Advisory Committee

Electric vehicle charging station President Joe Biden's plan calls for building a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030. (Penske Truck Leasing)

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American Trucking Associations announced June 10 the formation of its Climate and Clean Energy Advisory Committee.

The group will help shape ATA’s policies and actions on key environmental issues and will address topics such as fuels, carbon pricing and zero-emission vehicle development.

“ATA has been a leader in making sure our industry is at the table and delivering results on these issues,” President Chris Spear said. “With even more attention being paid to issues impacting our climate and clean energy in Washington and in state capitals, we are creating an advisory committee to help guide our future direction and actions.”

Chris Spear

Spear

Initially, the committee’s research will focus on research and development opportunities, infrastructure resiliency, zero-emission vehicle fueling infrastructure and environmental justice.

ATA Energy and Environmental Affairs Counsel Glen Kedzie said the goal of the committee is to seek out data in order to be at the table with policymakers as they address issues regarding climate change and technologies.

“As we chart a course for the most dynamic shift ever in the types of equipment and fuels we use,” Kedzie said, “we must do so in an orderly and least disruptive manner that takes into account the wide diversity of trucking operations.”

ATA plans to announce members and leadership for the committee soon.

Fiscal 2022 Budget Proposal by Transport Topics on Scribd

Tackling climate change is one of the major goals outlined by the current administration. President Joe Biden’s budget proposal, unveiled May 28, includes a slew of investments meant to reduce emissions in the transportation sector.

Some $600 million was requested for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the individual budget of 18 federal agencies, including dedicated funds at the General Services Administration and for the U.S. Postal Service’s charging infrastructure.

Biden also established a goal to build a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030. To reach this goal, his plan proposes rebates for electric vehicles as a way to urge consumers to buy zero-emission vehicles.

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U.S. Department of Transportation programs under the Biden administration have placed an emphasis on projects that address climate change. In April, DOT announced $1 billion in funding was available for grants through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. The agency said it would prioritize projects that reflect reductions of climate change impacts and improvements to racial equity.

The RAISE program was known as Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) during the Trump administration and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) during the Obama administration.

The American Transportation Research Institute, too, has demonstrated interest in studying environmental topics as these issues gain momentum at the federal level. One of ATRI’s top five research priorities for 2021 has to do with charging infrastructure considerations for electric trucks. Research will consider power demand scenarios, grid connectivity availability and vehicle charging requirements.

Another research priority that made ATRI’s list, which was released May 25, is understanding the environmental impacts of zero-emission trucks. This research will involve a comparative environmental impact study of the life cycles of electric versus diesel Class 8 trucks, taking into account manufacturing, operations and disposal.

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