GGE Remains in Place But Issue Effectively Dead Until Next Year
Backers of an officially sanctioned diesel gallon equivalent to govern the sale of natural gas for heavy vehicles failed to get the votes they needed at last week’s National Conference on Weights and Measures meeting in Detroit, according to NGVAmerica.
“The measure was not adopted,” states the association report. The gasoline gallon equivalent that has been in effect since 1994 – and had been somewhat threatened by advocates of a pure metric-mass-basis for selling natural gas as a transportation fuel – remains in place.
“The debate in committees and in the open session was very spirited,” NGVAmerica says in its summary of the Detroit NCWM meeting. “A number of state officials spoke up in favor of the DGE proposal and our industry was well represented.”
‘A Common Sense Unit,’ Says ATA
The American Trucking Associations told members after the vote that the GGE has worked well since its 1994 inception, and that “adopting a DGE standard would allow for the ready comparison of CNG and LNG with diesel fuel and provide a common-sense unit of sale for fuel retailers and users.
“In addition,” ATA said, “the DGE standard would provide a benchmark for states in their taxation, accounting, and recordkeeping requirements.”
“We are disappointed but will continue to work on it,” said Trillium CNG VP Bill Zobel.
“We will vigorously continue to pursue the creation of an official DGE standard,” said Todd Campbell, public policy and regulatory affairs VP with Clean Energy Fuels.
A Complicated Process
NGVAmerica, which has developed a developed a keen understanding of the byzantine processes by which NCWM enacts new measures, warns, “Despite the efforts of industry and state regulators who supported our proposal, there continues to be a strong faction within NCWM that opposes the DGE approach and that also would like to see the gasoline gallon equivalent standard rolled back.”
As the situation stands, “CNG station operators can continue selling it in GGE units but will not have the option of selling CNG in DGE to truckers as had been proposed,” the association says. “NCWM needs to develop a standard for LNG since there currently is no recognized standard for dispensing LNG. In the absence of a standard, LNG fuel retailers have been selling in DGE units.
“NGVAmerica will continue to work with its members and other trade allies to determine the best strategy for seeking adoption of the DGE standard.”
“Next year, NCWM will have to decide,” NGVAmerica says. But the organization concedes that NCWM could take up the matter purely as an informational item, or “drop the issue altogether.”
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Source: NGVAmerica with Fleets & Fuels follow-up