Exciting new developments are underway which will soon allow federal agencies to construct power charging stations for employees with electric vehicles at no cost to the taxpayer. I recently received an update from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) assuring me that encouraging progress is being made in implementing my recently passed legislation – the EV-COMUTE Act – and that concrete steps are being taken towards fostering more environmentally conscious transportation options for the federal workforce.
The EV-COMUTE Act, signed into law last year as part of a larger Surface Transportation bill, allows federal agencies the needed flexibility to provide electric vehicle charging stations for their employees. Two years ago, I was shocked to learn that federal employers were barred from providing electric vehicle charging stations at federal buildings, even when those charging stations are entirely supported by user fees. When a constituent of mine who works at the NASA Ames Research Center contacted me to express his disappointment with this policy, I introduced a common-sense bipartisan bill to fix the problem.
Just recently, CEQ informed me they are well on their way to releasing guidance for federal facilities wishing to provide EV charging stations. Importantly, the Administration agreed that agencies should have the flexibility to choose the right charging options for their employees, and is working to make sure this information is readily available to employers around the country.
I look forward to seeing EV charging stations operating at federal facilities across the nation. Congress voting to adopt – and the swift commitment from the Obama Administration to fully implement this commonsense policy – serves as a powerful reminder of the role citizens play in generating new ideas and legislation.