Quality Magazine

Legislation Will Expand the Use of Natural Gas for Transportation in the U.S.

July 29, 2010

SEAL BEACH, CA - Legislation being introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and intended for introduction in the U.S. House of Representatives by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI), will benefit the deployment and use of natural gas vehicles and fuel in the United States, according to Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

Andrew J. Littlefair, Clean Energy president and CEO, says, “We applaud our congressional leaders in the Senate and the House for bringing this vital legislation to the forefront. It will help fund natural gas vehicle purchases, particularly heavy-duty trucks, support growth in natural gas fueling infrastructure nationwide, and provide loans to support domestic manufacturing of alternative fuel vehicles.”

In the Senate bill, with $3.8 billion proposed for vehicle purchase rebates (75% for heavy-duty vehicles), as many as 200,000 alternative fuel vehicles may be placed in service, which could result in more than 1.8 billion gallons of petroleum displacement annually. Additionally, at least $500 million is proposed for fueling infrastructure development and $2 billion for the manufacturing loan program.

Littlefair noted that the proposed legislation also may result in more than 500,000 new direct manufacturing and labor jobs and other related indirect jobs. The fueling infrastructure created could effectively build the framework of a national natural gas fueling network with as many as 400 LNG fueling stations for regional trucking and more than 1,000 CNG/LNG multi-use fueling stations in urban centers.

In the House bill, vehicle purchase tax credits are proposed for heavy-duty natural gas vehicles, per-gallon tax credits for natural gas fuel are reinstated for 2010 and extended through 2011 and investment tax credits would encourage domestic manufacturing jobs, particularly those related to clean energy technologies.

For the environment, both bills encourage the increased use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle in light duty vehicles by up to 29% compared to gasoline and in heavy duty vehicles by up to 22% compared to diesel. Renewable biomethane gas produced from landfills and other sources can reduce greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle by 88% compared to gasoline or diesel as it becomes available for use in natural gas vehicles.