Murkowski co-sponsors Natural Gas Vehicles Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, this week added her name to legislation designed to encourage manufacturing of natural gas cars and trucks.
The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act would increase and extend tax credits for natural gas vehicles and refueling stations.  
“We have an abundant domestic supply of low-emission natural gas that can substantially cut our transportation fleet’s impact on the environment,” Murkowski said. “Natural gas is not only cleaner than regular gasoline, it’s also less expensive.”
“Natural gas vehicles show particular promise in urban fleets, such as municipal buses and emergency vehicles, while refueling infrastructure is expanded,” Murkowski said.
The NAT GAS Act will encourage and incentivize major expansion in the manufacturing and use of natural gas vehicles.  Among its key provisions, it would:
  • Extend for 10 years the alternative fuel credits for natural gas as a vehicle fuel, purchase of natural gas vehicles, and installation of natural gas vehicle refueling property credit.
  • Expand and modify the alternative fueled vehicle and refueling property tax credits.
  • Allow state and local governmental entities to issue tax exempt bonds in order to finance natural gas vehicle projects.
  • Allow 100 percent of the cost of a natural gas vehicle manufacturing facility that is placed in service before 2015 to be expensed and treated as a deduction.
  • Require that when complying with mandatory federal fleet alternative fuel vehicle purchase requirements, federal agencies purchase qualified alternative fuel vehicles unless the agency can show that alternative fuel is unavailable or that purchasing such vehicles would be impractical.
  • Provide for grants for light- and heavy-duty natural gas engine development.  
“We use the majority of our oil supply to fuel our cars and trucks, so increasing our use of natural gas in vehicles is a good first step in improving our energy security,” Murkowski said. “This bill not only decreases our dependence on foreign oil, it also saves consumers money at the pump and protects the environment.”
The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, Robert Menendez, D-NJ, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV.
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