Energy Leaders Discuss Nationwide Charging Stations For Electric Vehicles

Energy leaders from Oklahoma and all 50 states were in the nation's capital this week discussing future opportunities, including $7.5 billion the Biden administration is putting toward building a nationwide network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Friday, February 11th 2022, 6:31 pm



Energy leaders from Oklahoma and all 50 states were in the nation's capital this week discussing future opportunities, including $7.5 billion the Biden administration is putting toward building a nationwide network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

"They’ll use American parts, American iron, American steel," President Biden said at a news conference on Tuesday, "And they’ll be installed up and down the highways and corridors in our communities all across the country by union workers from the IBEW and the electrical workers union."

Making it as easy for Americans to recharge and go as it is to gas up and go, is the ultimate goal. Oklahoma’s energy leadership said Oklahoma will be right in the mix.

"We are still number one per capita in level three, or super-charging, infrastructure," said Ken Wagner, Oklahoma's Secretary of Energy and Environment in an interview Thursday.

Secretary Wagner said, "With that much expertise already in place and Oklahoma's 'crossroads' location, the state should be well-positioned to get some of the $5 billion that federal authorities will be doling out to state and local governments."

"The preference will be for charging stations along highways and transportations corridors," said Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy.

The funding is coming from the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and Wagner said it's an important step.

"We won’t see widespread deployment of electric vehicles," Wagner said, "until people have confidence that they can get where they want to go."

Wagner was in Washington for a meeting of NASEO, the Nationanl Association of State Energy Officials.

He said he made a presentation to the group on a familiar subject -- developing hydrogen as a fuel source.

"Talked about challenges, talked about opportunities, talked about types of incentives that would be required, types of regulatory actions that would be required," Wagner explained.

He said officials at the EPA and Department of Energy are noticing what Oklahoma is doing and said Oklahoma's recently completed Hydrogen Taskforce is serving as an example for the nation.

"Truly, hydrogen is that one alternative fuel where oil and gas and the industry surrounding that, as well as this large renewable industry we have in Oklahoma," said Wagner, "don’t go to fisticuffs over it, they actually can collaborate overhead in the same room."

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