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Congress Acts on NGV/Alt Fuels Bills

December 16, 2014 in Alternative Fuels, Legislation by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Bills Passed That Boost Bi-Fuels, Reinstate Tax Credits for 2014

The U.S. Congress has lurched into action on bills boosting natural gas vehicles and associated fueling infrastructure, including an important measure that lowers the CAFE credits threshold for bi-fuel vehicles, making more of them eligible for tax credits. Another bill extends the tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013 through the end of this year.

Scene of the action: the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Scene of the action: the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The bill lowering the all-gas range minimum for bi-fuel NGVs from 200 to 150 miles for CAFE eligibility “moves natural gas one step closer towards becoming a mainstream fuel for our everyday cars,” Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe said in a release.

“This is the most significant NGV legislation passed by the Congress in some time and we believe it will help move the ball forward in expanding the use of natural gas as a mainstream transportation fuel,” NGVAmerica president Matthew Godlewski said in the Inhofe announcement.

Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma

Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma

$397 Million for the Alt Fuel Credit Alone

The bill championed by Inhofe allows vehicle producers to take full advantage of special credits for alternative fuels built into the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program by removing the current credit cap.

On Tuesday, a separate bill was passed to extend tax credits for natural gas as a vehicle fuel – 50¢ per equivalent gallon – and for fueling infrastructure, forestalling what would have amounted to a 2014 tax hike for NGV sector and other alt fuel and alt fuel vehicles businesses, and individuals, who took advantage of the incentives through 2013.

“The incentives are important because they help businesses more quickly offset the higher upfront costs of NGVs, and they reward investments in NGV fueling infrastructure,” says NGVAmerica. The bill, H.R. 5771, was titled the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014.” It stops short of extending the incentives beyond the end of this year.

The alt fuel credit alone is worth some $397 million, says one source close to the process.

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Source: Office of Senator Jim Inhofe with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Legislation.

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