The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) commends the United States Senate on the negotiation and passage of H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This $1.2 trillion surface transportation reauthorization bill will inject much-needed funding into the nation’s critical infrastructure and includes significant funding opportunities for the propane industry.
Several provisions in the bill recognize the economic and environmental benefits of propane and promote the use of the fuel across multiple sectors. This bill provides NPGA members with access to new grant-funding programs for autogas refueling and vehicles, as well as propane-powered ferries. The package also includes a pilot program to address the nationwide driver shortage and other beneficial programs that are integral to the future of the propane industry.
Highlights of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
- Grants for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure
Access to $2.5 billion in grant funding for propane refueling infrastructure along the national highway system.
- Clean School Bus Program
Access to $2.5 billion in grant funding for propane school buses.
- Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities
Access to $1.6 billion in grant funding for propane low-emission transit vehicles.
- Apprenticeship Pilot Program
- Based on the DRIVE-Safe Act, this pilot program seeks to address the nationwide driver shortage by permitting drivers ages 18-21 to participate in interstate commerce.
This legislation also includes programs and funding to reduce emissions at port facilities; carbon reduction; workforce development, training, and education; grid resilience and microgrids; low-emitting ferries; ferry service in rural communities; and building codes that are not prohibitive to the propane industry.
These significant opportunities are a direct result of the advocacy efforts of NPGA’s legislative affairs team over the past three years to educate legislators on the importance of propane as a clean, abundant, domestic fuel. At the beginning of this year, the team planned and executed a comprehensive strategy to ensure propane is well-represented in the infrastructure negotiations led by the Biden Administration and a bipartisan group of Senators. This strategy included countless meetings with Republican and Democratic Members of the House and Senate. Most notably, this legislative victory was not possible without the engagement of association members and the targeted disbursement of political contributions from PropanePAC.
While the Senate’s 69-30 vote highlights the bipartisan support for this infrastructure package, the bill faces political hurdles before President Biden signs it into law. Despite a willingness by the President to approve the bill before the existing surface transportation authorization expires at the end of September, House Democratic Leadership has expressed a strong belief that the infrastructure package must be tied to the support for the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. This reconciliation legislation will serve as a vehicle for additional Democratic priorities in a number of policy areas, including climate change and electrification. Immediately after approving the infrastructure package, the Senate also passed the budget resolution on a party-line vote, which is the first step for consideration of a reconciliation package later this year.
In the coming months, NPGA will continue to advocate for the inclusion of propane industry policy priorities in a reconciliation package.
If you have any questions about the bipartisan infrastructure package or budget reconciliation, please contact NPGA’s Senior Director of Legislative Affairs, Michael Baker, at firstname.lastname@example.org.