On behalf of the Western Governors' Association, we are writing in support of efforts to advance the wide-scale deployment of electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure. Electric vehicles provide a path forward towards achieving many of our shared goals: creating sustainable high-quality jobs, reducing our dependence on oil, ,generating less harmful emissions, and improving air quality.
Western Governors have long advocated the need to develop alternatives to traditional transportation fuels. At our most recent winter meeting, we discussed opportunities and challenges associated with the electrification of our transportation sector. We have established a Transportation Fuels Council to track and coordinate state efforts related to alternative fuels and are examining the impact of electric vehicles as part of the Regional Transmission Expansion Project, an effort funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. In the next year, WGA also intends to develop a report that details the infrastructure needed to support wide-scale adoption of alternative fuels, including electricity.
As you know, bipartisan legislation has been introduced both in the House and the Senate seeking to guide the introduction of electric vehicles on to our roads and into our garages. Western Governors encourage a multi-pronged approach that concurrently develops the necessary infrastructure, battery capacity, and vehicle technology. We would also stress the importance that any federal program recognize the need for local flexibility in implementation to ensure our citizens' needs are being efficiently and effectively met. Of particular near-term importance, we would ask Congress to extend the expiring tax credits on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which in many places is just being installed as electric vehicles are introduced to the market in coming months.
You may note that we provided a similar letter of support for natural gas vehicles and infrastructure in a letter date February 11th of this year. We would like to reinforce our position that we need an all-hands-on-deck, multi-pronged approach to tackle the energy challenges that we are facing today. We believe the the electrification of the transportation sector is a strong step in the right direction towards the fundamental shift needed to reduce our dependence on petroleum. Accordingly, we would urge your continued support of legislation to facilitate this goal.
C.L. "Butch" Otter
Governor of Idaho
Christine O. Gregoire
Governor of Washington