By Margaret Ryan
Bipartisan bills to incentivize more natural gas use in US transportation have languished over the last three years in Congress, but low natural gas prices are now persuading trucking fleet owners they don’t need to wait for tax breaks for fuel diversification to make bottom-line sense.
Analysts and lobbyists watching Congress’ “supercommittee” are pessimistic about renewal of expiring subsidies, like the excise tax credit for suppliers of compressed or liquefied natural gas (CNG/LNG) and the credit for installing fueling infrastructure for CNG or LNG. And most say proposed new subsidies, like the NATGAS (New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions) Act, will never see the light of day in this Congress.
But the continuing low price of natural gas, and prospects that the giant US shale discoveries will keep cheap gas coming, are persuading truck fleet owners to invest in fuel-switching despite federal inaction and higher up-front costs. Continue reading