Senator Bob Casey has introduced a bill aimed at increasing demand for natural gas. The STATE Natural Gas Act would create a competitive grant process through the Department of Energy to fund public and private investments in natural gas vehicles and infrastructure.
StateImpact Pennsylvania recently reported on the challenges to natural gas vehicle development, including the lack of natural gas fueling stations. The state has just 11 public fueling stations for natural gas vehicles.
Casey’s bill would encourage states to use the grants for tax breaks, rebates or other financial incentives to develop the infrastructure for compressed natural gas. He says natural gas powered vehicles make up less than a tenth of one percent, of all the vehicles on the road.
Sen. Casey also introduced the NGEAR Act, which would create rebates for natural gas buses and tax credits for natural gas filling stations.
Casey has been one of the most vocal critics when it comes to the “Halliburton Loophole,” which exempts natural gas drilling companies from publicizing the chemicals used in the fracking process. He introduced the FRACK Act, which would close that loophole. Casey says he hasn’t abandoned the FRACK Act, but right now, there’s no chance Congress would pass it. He says the STATE Act, however, should not run into the same partisan politics.
The Corbett Administration recently announced its plan to spend $20 million to expand the use of natural gas powered vehicles by using funds from the Impact Fee.