Bill Encouraging Natural Gas Vehicles Passes Both Houses
The Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition is talking up this week’s passage by both houses of the Florida legislature of a bill encouraging commercial fleet owners to invest in new NGVs through grants administered by the Office of Energy at the Florida Department of Agriculture. updated May 2
According to a published summary, the Florida legislation “approved $30 million – or $6 million per year over five years — in cash grants to encourage commercial fleet operators to purchase vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). Companies can receive up to $25,000 for the purchase of a vehicle registered in Florida and up to $250,000 per year.
“State leaders also approved a five-year tax moratorium on natural gas fuels. The tax will not be increased when it is reinstated and will remain 10 cents lower than the current state tax on diesel.”
According to NGVAmerica, “In addition to all the above, the bill amends the motor fuels tax provisions to establish 5.66 pounds (or alternatively 126.67 cubic feet) as the unit of measurement for taxing CNG and 6.06 pounds for LNG taxation.
“We are pleased to see yet another state moving toward taxing natural gas based on energy equivalency and using pounds as the metric for conversion,” NGVAmerica said.
“By converting to natural gas vehicles, Florida businesses can save 50% of their fuel costs, leaving hundreds of thousands – even millions of dollars available to expand their workforce,” FNGVC says.
Florida Group Says Florida Leads
“Florida now leads the nation in our crucial drive toward energy independence,” association chairman Eric Criss said in a release. Criss is also president of Beer Industry of Florida and chairs the Florida Business-Consumer Alliance.
“The immense popularity of American natural gas among Floridians contributed to the bill’s success,” FNGVC said. The association earlier this year promoted a poll finding that that 72% of Floridians supported a program to help convert commercial fleet vehicles from traditional fuels to American natural gas.
The new legislation, designated HB 579, passed the Florida Senate 39-0 on Tuesday and was passed by the House on Thursday by a vote of 116-2, FNGVC reports.
Savings and Jobs
“Governor Rick Scott has a laser focus on jobs and we hope that he will sign this legislation as soon as possible, creating new employment opportunities for Floridians,” Criss said.
An earlier study found that a natural gas vehicle incentive program could create more than 10,000 new jobs, and generate more than $300 million in wages with better than $1 billion worth of economic impact.
FNGVC was formed last summer in league with Florida Natural Gas (F&F, August 21).
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Source: Florida NGV Coalition with Fleets & Fuels follow-up