Issue Date: March 26, 2012
Senate Nixes Natural Gas Vehicle Subsidies
Legislation that would have provided tax credits for natural gas vehicles and the construction of related infrastructure has gone down to defeat in the Senate. The chemical industry and other manufacturers that consume large quantities of natural gas in their operations campaigned against the proposal. They argued that diverting fuel supplies to the transportation sector would drive up prices just as U.S. manufacturing is beginning to rebound from the recession. “Policies that either constrain domestic natural gas supplies or distort natural gas markets put economic growth and job creation at risk, and are flawed from the start,” says the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade association. The so-called NAT GAS Act (S. 1863) is the centerpiece of the “Pickens Plan,” a blueprint developed in 2008 by Texas energy magnate T. Boone Pickens for ending the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. On March 14, supporters tried to attach the measure to a highway funding package, but it fell nine votes short of the 60 needed to pass major legislation in the upper chamber.
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