Congressmen John Sullivan (R-OK), Dan Boren (D-OK), John Larson (D-CT) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1380, the "New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions' (NAT GAS) Act today to help address rising gas prices and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Specifically, the NAT GAS Act focuses on jumpstarting the use of natural gas fuel in our nation's transportation sector by offering limited tax credits and federal regulatory changes to encourage the production and purchase of natural gas vehicles.
"Natural gas is a cleaner, cheaper, more abundant alternative to foreign oil, and it is in both our economic and national security interest to use the vast reserves we have right here in our own backyard as the bridge fuel towards energy security," said Congressman Sullivan, Vice Chair of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee. " Currently, 69% of the oil consumed in America is used for transportation, two-thirds of which we import from foreign nations - with gas prices approaching $4 to $5 per gallon, there is no time like the present to incorporate more natural gas vehicles into our transportation portfolio."
"It is important to know that the NAT GAS Act contains zero government mandates and zero subsidies," Sullivan added. "What we offer are incentives in the form of limited tax credits to give American businesses and families fueling options in light of 30 month high gas prices. The authorization of the bill has also been shortened from 17 years to 5 years. This legislation is the perfect opportunity to jumpstart the NGV marketplace while at the same time decreasing our $1.5- $2 billion dollar per day wealth transfer to foreign countries for most of our oil."
"As $4 gasoline continues to drain the pocket books of working Eastern Oklahomans, it is time for Congress to act," said Congressman Dan Boren. "We must move America off OPEC oil and give our citizens some options at the fuel pump -- this bill does just that. It is supported by some of the most progressive, as well as by some of the most conservative, members of Congress. For the first time in a generation, a bipartisan group of policy makers have come to agreement on how to address America's energy crisis and that answer is natural gas. By fully utilizing our nation's vast natural gas resources, we have a real opportunity to make a positive and sweeping impact on our energy and economic future. Coming from a producing state, I believe this legislation will spur economic growth and job creation. Most importantly, it will increase our nation's energy independence while providing hard-working Americans with a cheaper, cleaner alternative to the rising cost of gasoline."
"Natural gas is affordable, abundant and American. It costs one-third less to fill up a vehicle with natural gas than traditional gasoline and, maybe more importantly, we have enough natural gas in the US to meet our energy needs for the next 100 years. Equally important, if we start making cars and trucks that run on natural gas, there's the potential to create over a half a million American jobs." said Congressman Larson, the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. "The NAT GAS Act takes a moderate approach to reducing our dependence on foreign oil by incentivizing American manufacturers to produce vehicles that run on American natural gas and encouraging American businesses and families to buy them. With rising gas prices and growing instability in oil regions around the world, the time to act is now."
"For America's energy independence, establishing a viable second transportation fuel is a game changer," said Congressman Kevin Brady. "Targeting business fleets and cargo trucks that offer the greatest promise, this bill creates a strong five-year window to build, buy and refuel natural gas vehicles here at home."
According to a 2010 Department of Energy report, the cost of producing a kilowatt per hour of power using natural gas is cheaper then coal, nuclear, solar and wind. And the United States is estimated to have three times the equivalent amount of energy available compared to Saudi Arabia. The bill enjoys broad bi-partisan support.
The bill was introduced today with 76 bipartisan original cosponsors in the House and has been endorsed by both President Obama and T. Boone Pickens as part of the nation's energy solution.