Legislative Letters

LETTER: Oppose S.J. Res. 38 disapproving of FHWA’s tailored Buy America waiver

Jan 9, 2024

January 8, 2023

United States House
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Oppose S.J. Res. 38 disapproving of FHWA’s tailored Buy America waiver 

Dear Representative:

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) believes that everyone has a right to clean air, clean water, accessible public lands, and a safe climate protected by a just and equitable democracy. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.  

LCV urges you to vote NO on S.J. Res. 38, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to eliminate the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) temporary, targeted waiver of Buy America requirements for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which would revert charging equipment to a broader, endless waiver. This resolution would undermine efforts to expand our nation’s EV charging network, while hurting U.S. manufacturing workers and communities.

The Buy America waiver that S.J. Res. 38 seeks to dismantle was finalized in March 2023 and governs funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This common sense waiver sets ramping, phased-in targets for electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) to be manufactured and assembled in the U.S., as opposed to EVSE’s previous treatment with a general manufactured goods waiver. 

This waiver has already sent a strong market signal that we need more EV charging and manufacturing in the U.S. Specifically, BlueGreen Alliance and Atlas Public Policy research found that EVSE manufacturers have already announced more than $27 million in investments for new plants across the country. If this waiver was removed and EVSE reverted back to a general waiver via CRA, the U.S. would become less competitive in the global EV market. 

The investments spurred by the Buy America waiver have the potential to create good union jobs for workers building and installing EVSE equipment. Without the waiver, FHWA would not be required to meet any US manufacturing or Buy America requirements for charging. S.J. Res. 38 will slow down the EV transition at the expense of the union workers who manufacture EVSE.

We urge you to REJECT the CRA resolution aiming to replace the Buy America waiver with a general waiver for electric vehicle service equipment (S.J. Res. 38). We will strongly consider including vote(s) on this resolution in the 2023 Scorecard. If you would like more information, please reach out to a member of our government relations team.  

Gene Karpinski