November 14, 2019. U.S Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, D-Houston, on Thursday filed a bill that aims to the boost adoption of vehicles that run on natural gas at a time when supplies of natural gas are so cheap and plentiful that drillers burn it off rather than pay the costs of transporting.
The bill, which Fletcher co-sponsored with Rep. Markwayne Mulllin, R-Okla., would revive a lapsed federal tax credit for the purchase of alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and natural gas harvested from landfills and other sources.
The tax credit lapsed at the beginning of 2018. Fletcher’s legislation would give a 50 cent tax credit to buyers of the fuel for each gallon of CNG, LNG and renewable natural gas purchased through 2025. After that, the tax credit would be reduced to 25 cents per gallon through 2027.
The goal of the bill is to boost adoption of CNG and LNG vehicles among heavy-duty fleets by lowering the cost of fuel.
Fleet operators such as the package delivery service UPS, the Houston trash hauler Waste Management and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County have adopted natural gas-powered vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint. Natural gas-powered vehicles are usually thousands of dollars more expensive to buy than their gasoline or diesel-fired counterparts, but advocates say they produce much fewer emissions and save money on fuel.
“This tax credit encourages investments in cleaner fuel options for vehicle use,” Fletcher said in statement. “The alternative fuels tax credit incentivizes innovation of alternative fuels, like natural gas, which leads to lower costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions through these cleaner-burning fuels.”