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April 07, 2009  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Lawmakers propose bill to increase use of natural gas


WASHINGTON, D.C. — On April 1, Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.), Rep. John Larson (Conn.), Rep. John Sullivan (Okla.), and energy executive T. Boone Pickens announced legislation to expand the use of natural gas as an alternative to conventional transportation fuel.

“Natural gas is the cleanest, most abundant, most economical domestic fuel to replace imported diesel,” Pickens said. “The U.S. has enough natural gas reserves to last us more than 118 years — we should turn to it as an immediate replacement for foreign oil in fleets and heavy duty vehicles.”

The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act — or NAT GAS Act — includes an 18-year extension of tax incentives for the purchase of natural gas-fueled vehicles (NGVs) and the installation of commercial and residential natural gas refueling pumps, which are set to expire at the end of 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The legislation would also modify the current tax credits to provide an incentive for state and municipal fleet managers to buy natural gas vehicles and engines.

Another provision would create a new tax credit for auto manufacturers that produce natural gas and bi-fuel vehicles. This incentive is designed to encourage major auto manufacturers to bring to the U.S. market NGVs currently available overseas.

The NAT GAS Act also would require that by the end of 2014, at least 50 percent of the new vehicles purchased by the federal government be capable of operating on compressed or liquid natural gas. Finally, the legislation would provide grants for light and heavy-duty natural gas vehicle and engine development.

To read the bill text, click here.


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