Legislative parity in sight with introduction of Propane Green Autogas Solutions Act


WASHINGTON, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Autogas for America, the unified voice of the U.S. autogas market, commends the introduction of the Propane Green Autogas Solutions Act ("Propane GAS Act") of 2011 (H.R. 2014/S. 1120) in the House and Senate last week. The bill calls for extension of current and previous incentives for propane autogas and represents an important step toward legislative parity for this American-made alternative vehicle fuel.

"After months of pushing for parity in alternative fuels legislation, we're pleased to see this bill introduced," says Autogas for America founder Stuart Weidie. "It means lawmakers recognize the importance of promoting all alternative fuel technologies on an even playing field."

Autogas for America Stakeholders were vocal in opposition to the NAT GAS Act (New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act) introduced in the house earlier this year to incentivize what Weidie calls "the T. Boone Pickens experiment."  The NAT GAS Act would offer generous federal incentives that apply only to natural gas. Autogas for America is fundamentally opposed to government favoritism and is seeking extension of propane autogas incentives to ensure equal footing with other alternatives already receiving considerable attention from lawmakers.

"Ultimately, alternative fuels should be able to stand on their own merits, without incentives. The government shouldn't be shouldered with underwriting innovation," says Weidie.  "But, if they're going to incentivize certain technologies – like natural gas, ethanol and electric vehicles – they should also incentivize propane autogas. Failing to do so would directly conflict with the core values of a free market economy."

Weidie says using American-made fuels like autogas is essential to driving national energy security and that this bill is critical to giving autogas parity alongside other alternatives that receive government subsidies.

The Propane GAS Act would extend existing tax credits for the purchase of autogas fuel, autogas-powered vehicles and autogas refueling infrastructure through 2016. These incentives have helped grow the use of autogas, particularly among fleet users, according to Autogas for America.

The bill was introduced by House Republican Conference Secretary Representative John Carter (R-TX) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). Original cosponsors were Representatives Dan Boren (D-OK) and Mike Rogers (R-AL) in the House of Representatives, and Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in the Senate.

"Autogas is significantly cheaper than gasoline, and that price differential is growing every day," says Joe Thompson, Autogas for America stakeholder and president of ROUSH CleanTech. "Because conventional fuels like gasoline and diesel have such a stranglehold on the market, the ability to discount the price of autogas an additional 50 cents, and to offer substantial incentives on autogas vehicles, has helped us get an increasing number of America's fleets running on this clean-burning fuel."

Autogas is gaining national attention as our country faces skyrocketing gasoline prices, growing demand to reduce harmful emissions and the critical need to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

Autogas-vehicle operators save on average more than $1 per gallon versus gasoline and often cite reduced vehicle maintenance. Autogas is a clean burning fuel, displacing harmful greenhouse gases by more than 20 percent. Also, 90 percent of the U.S. autogas supply is made in America. Weidie, Thompson and Autogas for America are pleased to see autogas take its place alongside other alternative fuels as an important part of a balanced American energy equation.

Weidie says, "No one fuel is the only solution to America's energy challenges, but autogas is right here, right now. Each American fleet that switches from gasoline to autogas is significant step in the right direction."

SOURCE Autogas for America

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