If several U.S. senators have their way, alternative fuel may not be as alternative for long. Three senators are pushing a bill that would increase the use of natural gas in motor vehicles, thereby decreasing the nation’s dependence on oil. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Senators Robert B. Menendez (D-NJ) and Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the legislation.
The bill, S. 1408, would reportedly expand property tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles and refueling. (It would make natural gas vehicles (NGVs) eligible for a tax credit equaling approximately 80 percent of the vehicle’s cost; bi-fuel NGVs could, for the first time, obtain a tax credit of 50 percent.) It would also extend alternative fuel credits for those using natural gas to fuel their vehicle, purchasing NGVs, and installing NGV refueling equipment.
The bill would also allow more incremental cost limits, thereby more accurately reflecting the cost of producing NGVs. Other provisions include tax deductions for 100 percent of the cost of an NGV manufacturing plant placed in service before January 1, 2015 (down to 50 percent in 2014 and to 0 percent in 2020).
Several state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service and law enforcement agencies, are already using fuel-efficient vehicles. The USPS is to replace 6,500 vehicles with 1,900 fuel-efficient models.