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AAPA calls Senate bill with $3b for ports' electrification 'enormous win'

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The American Association of Port Authorities welcomed the US Senate's passage of the Inflation Reduction Act which includes $3b for electrified equipment at ports to reduce emissions.

The $3bn over five years would establish a new grant program.

New funding for programs including shore power

AAPA said the inclusion of electrification in this bill is an 'enormous win for the American port industry and US supply chains. It provides a brand-new source of funding for ports seeking to purchase electrified or alternative-fueled cargo-handling equipment, shore power systems, microgrids for energy resiliency, electric grid infrastructure and more.'

The association said this investment will make ports more resilient to extreme weather events like heat waves and storms, including through the construction of microgrids, adding. 'The creation of a federal grant program to reduce emissions and electrify ports demonstrates the federal government's unprecedented attention to port infrastructure needs.'

Further investment needed

The $3b will go a long way, but further investment will still be necessary, AAPA said. A survey of its members found that American ports have $50b worth of green infrastructure projects ready to build over the next decade, but there is a gap in funding.

Nevertheless, AAPA added, this federal grant program will signal to equipment manufacturers and private investors that this electrification technology at ports will be ubiquitous in the coming years. The association said it will continue to work with government and industry to secure the necessary resources to modernize ports and the supply chain.

Tax credits, extreme weather protection and more

The Inflation Reduction Act contains other provisions ports can utilize, including a bevy of tax credits for clean energy solutions such as offshore wind and hydrogen energy, and a $60m allocation to the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant program, which is intended specifically for goods movement. Another $2.6b is allocated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the protection of marine habitats and resilience for coastal communities from extreme storms. Finally, $1b is provided for the replacement of ‘class 6 or 7’ heavy-duty vehicles with zero-emission alternatives.

Since 2021 AAPA had been urging Congess to include port electrification in the reconciliation package and engaged directly with the offices of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, held briefings with the Congressional Ports Caucus and discussed its importance in dozens of meetings conducted by AAPA members during the Legislative Summit 'Now We Build!' in March.

To the House

The Inflation Reduction Act now moves to the House of Representatives where Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will 'return and move swiftly to send this bill to the President’s desk — proudly building a healthier, cleaner, fairer future for all Americans.'

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