Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) expressed disappointment today that the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (NAT GAS Act) was defeated as an amendment to the Transportation Bill even though a majority of the Senate -- 51 Senators -- voted for it. Because of Senate rules the amendment needed 60 votes to be included in the Bill.
"Only in the U.S. Senate can a common sense bill like the NAT GAS Act get a majority of the votes and still fail," Congressman Larson said. "Natural gas is affordable, abundant and American. It costs one-third less to fill up with natural gas than gasoline and we have enough natural gas here at home to meet our energy needs for the next 100 years, which means we can start weaning ourselves off foreign oil today. And on the jobs front, if we start making cars and trucks that run on natural gas, which the NAT GAS Act would help encourage, there's the potential to create over a half a million American jobs. That's why President Obama included NAT GAS as an important piece in his All-the-Above energy strategy.
"It's a real shame that 47 Senators who apparently still believe that the answer to our energy future is just more money to Big Oil were able to block this common sense approach with a procedural vote. That's just more evidence of why the public is so disgusted with Congress and our inability to get things done," Larson added. "With gas prices on the rise and speculation rampant, we need to bring NAT GAS up in the House for a vote and the Senate needs to consider the issue on its merits. It's the right thing to do for the nation."
The NAT GAS Act aims to provide a tax credit for the purchase of a natural gas truck; create a new tax credit for equipment manufacturers that produce natural gas vehicles (NGVs) to encourage production and sale in the U.S.; and, provide grants for the development of light- and heavy-duty NGVs and engines to ensure the U.S. stays at the forefront of clean energy development.
The bill enjoys over 180 bipartisan sponsors in the House of Representatives and even earned the endorsement of President Barack Obama last year. Congressman Larson vowed to continue to fight for the NAT GAS Act in the House of Representatives.