November 19, 2019. NGVAmerica today applauded the introduction of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now Act, or GREEN Act discussion draft by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and fellow Ways and Means Committee Democrats. The draft legislation includes reinstatement of the lapsed $0.50/gallon Alternative Fuels Tax Credit (AFTC) retroactively for two years (2018-2019), forward for two years (2020-2021) while providing a three-year “phasedown” for 2022-2024 at $0.38, $0.25, and $0.17/gallon prospectively.
“This legislation provides the added needed incentive for fleets of all sizes – public and private – to transition to clean natural gas transportation fuel,” said Dan Gage, President of NGVAmerica. “Heavy-duty vehicles are the fastest growing vehicle segment and among the largest contributors of pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Natural gas vehicles are zero emission equivalent and can be carbon-neutral – even negative – depending on the natural gas source.”
With this credit, America’s transit agencies can continue to invest in cleaner, commercially available and proven natural gas buses without reducing service or increasing fares, school districts can provide exhaust-free rides to school by replacing their dirty legacy fleets, and freight haulers and package delivery companies can afford to replace aging diesel trucks with the cleanest heavy-duty truck on the market, which runs entirely on natural gas.
The bill also includes creation of a new commercial vehicle credit for manufacturers who sell heavy, zero-emissions vehicles which NGVAmerica currently opposes because a tax credit to incentivize production of cleaner heavy-duty vehicles should take into account the cleanest commercially available heavy-duty trucks in the world, support manufacturing of vehicles with near-zero emissions, and take the full emissions cycle into consideration.
“We can’t have clean air without cleaner trucks,” added Gage. “This credit overlooks technology that is market-ready, proven, and affordable today. Rather than incentivizing the move to zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles that won’t be commercially available for a decade or longer, Congress should support increased deployment of proven heavy-duty natural gas-powered trucks, including those that run on carbon-negative or carbon-neutral renewable natural gas. We look forward to working with the Committee on this legislation moving forward to ensure that natural gas vehicles are given the credit they deserve on a full well-to-wheels emissions cycle.”
The Alternative Fuels Tax Credit – like many lapsed credits – was last extended for the 2017 calendar year. Its longer-term extension is important to provide investment certainty for fleets of all shapes and sizes working to reduce their environmental footprint and address clean air and climate change sustainability goals.