A group of Pennsylvania state legislators have proposed a package of seven bills called Marcellus Works to promote the use of clean natural gas fuel for transportation through a variety of tax credits, loan programs and other incentives, according to Clean Energy Fuels Corp.
"Mirroring the recent introduction of the Nat Gas Act at the federal level, this proposed legislation in Pennsylvania indicates the groundswell of support emerging for natural gas vehicle use in America," said Andrew J. Littlefair, Clean Energy president and CEO.
The total outlay of the Marcellus Works proposal is $47.5 million in one-time spending, plus some additional annual spending for a five year period. The bulk would come from various tax credits, grant programs and revolving loan programs. The initiative is intended to help create jobs without costing any additional taxpayer dollars and act as a catalyst for the industry.
"Marcellus Works is a series of steps the state government can take to capture the full benefit of natural gas right here in Pennsylvania," Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York), a major proponent, said.
"This is an issue that will transform Pennsylvania," Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley said. "The entire Commonwealth, not just a particular region of the state."
The seven-bill package would:
· Establish tax credits for private fleet vehicles to lessen the incremental cost of natural gas vehicles
· Establish a grant program for smaller mass transit agencies to cover the incremental cost of natural gas buses
· Establish a revolving loan program for large mass transit agencies to cover the incremental cost of natural gas buses
· Require 25 % of all new bus purchases made by large mass transit agencies in 2012-16 to run on natural gas; 50 % in 2017-2021; 75 % in 2021-2026; and 100 % in 2027
· Create a natural gas corridor tax credit to encourage the construction of natural gas fueling stations along travel corridors
· Dedicate the Alternative Fuel Incentive Fund to provide grants to municipalities, schools, and the private sector for the purchase of natural gas vehicles, and
· Eliminate costly duplication of EPA and CARB certifications for natural gas vehicles
Jan Jarrett, president of environmental advocacy group PennFuture, said she supports theMarcellus Works proposal because it will decrease the amount of diesel emissions emitted in the state, particularly in Central Pennsylvania around the nexus of several interstate highways.