NGVAmerica applauded legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and John Larson (D-CT) intended to expand the use of clean alternative transportation fuels and bring parity to natural gas fueled vehicles. The Natural Gas Parity Act of 2018, H.R. 5959, would ensure fair treatment in the tax code, federal acquisition policy, and research and development funding for vehicles and other transportation uses fueled by natural gas and related alternative sources.
“Current federal incentives and regulatory rules do not encourage the use of super clean and efficient natural gas for transportation,” said NGVAmerica President Dan Gage. “With the introduction of this legislation, Representatives Mullin and Larson recognize that the world’s cleanest heavy-duty engines run on natural gas. And as the movement of goods and freight continues to dominate our economy, if we want cleaner air, we need cleaner trucks, cleaner locomotives, and cleaner ships.”
The new bill would:
- Extend the expired Alternative Fuels Tax Credit (AFTC) of $.50 per gallon equivalent through 2022, providing greater certainty for businesses, municipalities, and fleet managers interested in investing in alternative fuel transportation options;
- Encourage investment in new natural gas technologies by providing a partial exclusion from the federal excise tax imposed on heavy-duty natural gas truck purchases, effectively exempting the technology’s incremental cost from the existing 12% rate;
- Bring parity to the purchase of natural gas motor vehicles on par with the Federal government’s $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of new light-duty electric vehicles and include a new tax credit for medium and heavy-duty natural gas trucks;
- Promote the continued development of natural gas refueling infrastructure through the extension and increase of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Infrastructure Tax Credit;
- Encourage the use of more clean-fueling LNG marine and shipping applications on inland waterways;
- Support the transitioning of federal fleets to alternative fuels like natural gas; and
- Invest in new domestic natural gas R&D activities and Clean Cities program initiatives, supporting local clean air and climate change community efforts across the country.
“We can wait and wait for possible electric and fuel cell options to be developed, commercialized for heavy-duty applications years from now and live with our transportation sector’s current negative air quality impact until then,” added Gage. “Or we can accelerate the transition to domestically-fueled natural gas vehicles today and begin to immediately enjoy clean air benefits.”