WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, applauded Senators Robert Menendez, Orrin Hatch, and Harry Reid for introducing legislation today supporting vehicles that run on natural gas. On June 25, 2009, Senator Inhofe joined Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to introduce bipartisan legislation that seeks to increase the production and sale of natural gas and propane vehicles and develop natural gas and propane vehicle infrastructure across the country. The Pryor-Inhofe bill would help lower fuel costs for consumers, reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, and strengthen the economy in regions rich in natural gas.
“I am pleased to see that a growing number of my colleagues, Republican and Democrat, support legislation that promotes vehicles that run on clean natural gas,” Senator Inhofe said. “The promise of natural gas and propane as a mainstream transportation fuel is achievable today -- not 15 or 20 years from now. Over the past few years, American consumers have been pinched by high gas prices. We need to provide affordable and reliable energy for consumers. This is one bipartisan approach that can help achieve that goal.”
“Oklahoma native T. Boone Pickens continues to be a champion of expanding the use of natural gas and I look forward to working with him to get a bill passed. Those of us from Oklahoma have a strong appreciation for the versatility of natural gas, which is plentiful, affordable, clean, and is produced right here at home. In fact, Oklahoma annually produces nearly one-tenth of total U.S. natural gas production.”
The Potential Gas Committee’s latest assessment of the nation’s natural gas resources states that the United States possesses a total resource base of 1,836 trillion cubic feet. This is the highest resource evaluation in the Committee’s 44 year history. When the PGC’s results are combined with the U.S. Department of Energy's latest available determination of proved gas reserves, the United States has a total available future supply of 2,074 Tcf. At current levels of consumption, this equals more than 95 years supply of clean burning, American natural gas.
The Pryor-Inhofe Fueling America Act of 2009 provides a consumer tax credit for the purchase of natural gas or propane vehicles as well as a tax credit for the installation of natural gas and propane refueling stations. In addition, the bill establishes a natural gas and propane vehicle research and development program within the Department of Energy, requires the General Services Administration to study increasing the federal fleet that runs on natural gas or propane, and extends the Clean School Bus Program through 2014.
• Establish a research, development and demonstration program at the Department of Energy to improve cleaner, more efficient natural gas and propane vehicle engines, on-board storage systems, and fueling station infrastructure.
• Require the GSA to report on whether the Federal fleet should increase the number of natural gas and propane vehicles.
• Reauthorizes and expands the Clean School Bus Program which funds EPA grants to schools for up to 65 percent the cost of new CNG school buses.
• Expands the current alternative fueled vehicle tax credit to also include bi-fueled vehicles (those that can run both on natural gas or propane and gasoline or diesel). The $5000 federal tax credit could be applied toward the purchase of a new bi-fueled vehicle or the aftermarket conversion of a vehicle to bi-fuel.
• Extends the $2000 federal tax credit for home natural gas refueling property to 2014.
• Expands and extends the current tax credit for fueling stations to install compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, or liquefied petroleum gas refueling property of up to $50,000 through 2014.