Congress Must Adopt a Fuel Neutral Energy Policy Approach, says CleanFUEL USA
GEORGETOWN, Texas, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Last week, The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NATGAS) Act of 2011 was introduced to the U.S. Congress by a bipartisan set of sponsors in an effort to boost consumption of alternative fuels. The new bill, aggressively supported by T. Boone Pickens, aims to reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign oil and reduce the country's carbon footprint, yet it proposes doing this with only one alternative fuel source – Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
"The transportation industry has already embraced a variety of alternative fuels such as propane, which is domestically produced and provides the same environmental and economic benefits as natural gas," says Curtis Donaldson, Founder and CEO of CleanFUEL USA. "If the U.S. is serious about energy independence and reducing our carbon footprint, we need to remain fuel neutral and preserve the freedom for consumers to choose from a menu of alternative fuels."
With Americans consuming 12 million barrels of oil per day, President Obama recently announced a National Clean Fleets Partnership by challenging companies to deploy more than 20,000 fleet vehicles running on a variety of alternative fuels, such as propane autogas or biodiesel. The NATGAS legislation is in response to President Obama's challenge, though the exclusion of fuels such as propane autogas startled many in the transportation industry.
Propane autogas is the third most widely used transportation fuel globally, only behind gasoline and diesel, and has proven to be a more attractive option from an economic and environmental standpoint. Both propane autogas and CNG burn essentially the same amount of emissions, and propane autogas costs roughly 40-50 percent less than gasoline/diesel per gallon. Propane autogas is a derivative of natural gas and 95 percent of it is produced in the U.S.
According to public statements made by Pickens, the bill introduced last week would cost the U.S. treasury roughly $3-4 billion in tax credits to convert millions of trucks to natural gas, and the transition to CNG trucks and a national CNG fueling infrastructure would create jobs. CNG station infrastructure costs can be up to 10 times more expensive than building a propane autogas station, and converting a vehicle to CNG is three times more expensive than autogas propane. Currently, there are 2,500 propane autogas stations in the U.S. and 380 CNG stations, making the costs of implementing CNG as a widespread transportation fuel significantly more expensive than propane autogas for U.S. taxpayers.
CleanFUEL USA encourages Congress to reconsider the NATGAS legislation and take appropriate steps to ensure Americans have the freedom of choice in their alternative fuel options.
The current NATGAS legislation is sponsored by U.S. Congress Representatives John Sullivan (R-OK,) Dan Boren (D-OK), John Larson (D-CT) and Kevin Brady (R-TX).
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