Senators Harry Reid, Robert Menendez and Orrin Hatch, accompanied by Texas oilman T Boone Pickens on Wednesday introduced newly proposed legislation called the New Alternative Transportation Act (NAT GAS) that will encourage the development and purchasing of natural gas vehicles.
The bill will extend tax credits for ten years in the areas of natural gas fuel, vehicles and infrastructure to promote use of natural gas vehicles and installation of natural gas refueling stations in the country.
The legislation will “do more to reduce our foreign oil dependency crisis than any other piece of legislation in the past 40 years,” T. Boone Pickens said at the news conference where the bill's introduction was announced, according to a report from Earth2tech.com today.
The bill would provide credit for 80 percent of the incremental price for the purchase of natural gas vehicles, and 50 percent of the incremental price for the purchase of vehicles that can run on either natural gas or gasoline. Incentives would rise to as high as $12,500 for passenger cars and light trucks and as much as $64,000 for higher weight-class vehicles.
This legislation will make buying and using of natural gas vehicles more economically attractive. More natural gas vehicles on America’s roads means less imported oil, less urban pollution and less greenhouse gases,” said NGVAmerica President Richard Kolodziej in a statement on Wednesday.
Supporters of the bill state that cars fueled with natural gas instead of diesel or gasoline reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 20 and 30 percent.
Proponents also note that the U.S. has plenty of resources of the fossil fuel. The country has about 100 years of supply considering Americans consume an average of 22 trillion cubic feet per year, the American Gas Association reported in June.
Senator Menendez said he is likely to attach the bill on the Senate version of the energy and climate bill set to consider some time this year, Reuters reported. If the legislation doesn't get wrapped up in the climate bill it will have to be voted on its own in the House and the Senate.