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Pa. House panel takes up electric vehicle charging infrastructure | Tuesday Morning Coffee

‘We need to make sure electric vehicle charging stations are as available as gas stations,’ Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery said

June 7, 2022 7:19 am

(Image via Pittsburgh City Paper)

Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Someday, charging stations for electric vehicles will be as common as roadside gas stations on America’s highways and byways.

At least that’s how state Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, envisions a clean and green future for motorists across the commonwealth and nationwide.

But, we’re not there yet, the suburban Philadelphia Democrat acknowledged as a state House panel took up the issue during Monday’s meeting of the House Democratic Policy Committee.

“I’ve personally experienced the scarcity of electric vehicle charging stations in Pennsylvania and the struggles that come along with it. With the growing number of electric vehicles being used in the commonwealth, we need to make sure electric vehicle charging stations are as available as gas stations,” Daley said in a statement.

While they still make up a fraction of the 12 million registered vehicles in the state, there are currently around 30,000 electric passenger vehicles on the road — that’s a tally that’s more than doubled over the last five years, the panel said in a statement.

The Keystone State is in line to receive $171.5 million under the federal infrastructure law over the next five years to build out its EV charging network, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the Capital-Star reported in February.

The tally is the fifth-highest of any state, and it’s part of the Biden administration’s effort to encourage Americans to buy electric cars, WESA-FM in Pittsburgh reported earlier this year.

The state is slated to receive $25 million this year toward augmenting the state’s existing network of 1,078 public charging locations, the radio station reported. The White House is aiming to install electric vehicle charging stations every 50 miles along the nation’s major highways.

States have until Aug. 1 to submit their National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Plan to the feds, the House panel said in its statement. The state Department of Transportation is currently preparing that document.

“It is critical that Pennsylvania is positioned to receive and apply for all available EV federal funding opportunities and to assist communities and local partners to be successful for an effective and efficient rollout of EV initiatives,” Natasha FacklerPennDOT’s infrastructure implementation coordinator, said in a statement.

PennDOT is committed to providing EV awareness, education, and technical capacity to our partners, especially to support EV industry job skills, local small business development and educational opportunities for all job-levels,” Fackler continued.

(Image via pxHere.com)

Right now there are more than 2,700 public electric vehicle chargers at more than 1,100 locations statewide, the panel said, citing PennDOT data.

According to one advocate, the number of charging stations needs to double to fully support electric vehicles in the commonwealth.

“Once the designated corridors have been fully built out, the federal NEVI Plan funding can be used to help fill in the gaps along ancillary roadways and in communities that would meet the environmental justice guidelines,” Tony Bandiero, of the Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation, said in the statement.

Another testifier at Monday’s hearing stressed the economic benefits of building out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“The benefits on the electric industry from electric vehicles can include environmental aspects, reduction of oil and natural gas dependence, community impact, as well as job creation. All of these benefits come with the caveat of the equipment being installed safely, on time, and reliably,” Iggy Fletcher, a 17-year member of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said in the House panel’s statement.

(Philadelphia Gay News photo).

Our Stuff.
Nearly three years since its last in-person Pride celebration, and knee deep in the nationwide legislative attacks on the LGBTQ community, Philadelphia Pride began this year with a march. Our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News have the story.

Advocates and families impacted by Pennsylvania’s child welfare system shared their stories during a rally in the Capitol rotunda on Monday, Christina Baker, a summer intern for the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association, reports.

The Poor People’s Campaign is urging President Joe Biden to meet with low-income workers before the organization’s march on Washington, D.C., on June 18 to advocate for a $15 federal minimum wage, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Ariana Figueroa reports.

Our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune profile Kevin M. Sligh Sr., the Philadelphia native who’s now helming the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate ended with Dave McCormick conceding to Mehmet Oz, but the taxpayer-funded statewide recount — triggered by the tight margin — continuesStaff Reporter Marley Parish has the story.

On our Commentary Page this morning: Responsible gun owners know it’s nuts to permit firearms that scare police, columnist Jay Bookman, of our sibling site, the Georgia Recorder, writes. And a University of Kansas scholar asks how should Dostoevsky and Tolstoy be read during Russia’s war against Ukraine? 

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., speaks during the first post-pandemic meeting of the Pennsylvania Press Club on Monday 6/28/21 (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

Elsewhere.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., says senators are ‘closer’ than they were after Sandy Hook to getting a deal on a gun bill, the Inquirer reports.

A business on Pittsburgh’s South Side is closing after violence on Carson Street, the Post-Gazette reports.

PoliticsPA looks at whether there’s a chance for Pennsylvania to pass any kind of gun reform (Spoiler alert: No).

A second suspect who was wanted in last weekend’s mass shooting on South Street in Philadelphia has been taken into custody, WHYY-FM reports.

The Republican-controlled state Senate has approved a bill making a number of changes to the rules governing partisan election observers in polling places and election offices, the Associated Press reports (via WITF-FM).

State Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehighhas conceded in his GOP primary to challenger Jarrett Coleman, the Morning Call reports.

As Title IX turns 50, PennLive looks at how it’s changed athletics for women (subscribers-only).

In Lancaster County, the Elizabethtown schools have rejected a request to remove ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ from its library, LancasterOnline reports (paywall).

Gas has hit $5 a gallon in central Pennsylvania, the York Daily Record reports.

Vehicles packed with supplies bound for Ukraine have left Wilkes-Barre, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

GoErie talks to an Erie-area mom about her efforts to find baby formula.

The leader of the ultra-right wing group the Proud Boys, and three of its members, have been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Talking Points Memo reports.

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What Goes On
The House comes in at 12 p.m. The Senate convenes at 1 p.m. Hope you brought comfy shoes. The docket is full today.
9 a.m., Ryan Building: 2022 Capitol Hunger Garden opening
9:30 a.m., Main Rotunda: Boy Scouts of America event
9:30 a.m., Ryan Building: House Republicans talk stream maintenance bills
11 a.m., Capitol Steps: Crime survivors rally
11 a.m., Main Rotunda: Charter schools rally
11 a.m., Capitol Fountain: Lawmakers call for improving access to home-based services
12 p.m., Main Rotunda: American Promise releases a report on the impact of big money on politics
1 p.m., Main Rotunda: Hepatitis awareness rally
1 p.m., Capitol Steps: United Way and other groups rally for earned income tax credit
4 p.m., Media Center: Sen. Art Haywood, D-Philadelphia, talks ‘Fair Share’ legislation (rescheduled from Monday)

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
8:30 a.m.: Breakfast for Sen. John Yudichak
11:30 a.m.: Luncheon for Sen. Michele Brooks
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Steve Malagari
6 p.m.: Reception for the House Republican Campaign Committee
Ride the circuit and give at the max, and you’re out an eye-watering $18,500 today.

WolfWatch
Gov. Tom Wolf speaks to the Harrisburg Regional Chamber/CREDC at 8:45 a.m. this morning at the  Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Serious good wishes go out this morning to Mustafa Rashed, of Philadelphia’s Bellevue Strategies, who celebrates another journey around the sun today. Congratulations, sir. And thank you for your service. Enjoy your big day.

Heavy Rotation
Some days, you just need a bit of Talking Heads in your life. Here’s the indelible ‘This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)’ to get your Tuesday morning rolling.


Tuesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link
The Colorado Avalanche are headed for the Stanley Cup final after wrapping up a sweep of the Edmonton Oilers with a 6-5 overtime win at Rogers Place on Monday night. The New York Rangers face the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. New York leads their Eastern Conference series 2-1.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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