NGVAmerica (NGVA), the natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry and its advocates are rallying in support of the adoption of the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) standard that will be voted on at the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM) meeting to be held 13 - 17 July in Detroit, Michigan. The adoption of the DGE standard is a critical issue that many believe will have lasting effects on the future of the NGV industry.
To bring the DGE standard issue to Detroit, NGVA was joined by natural gas industry leaders, including the American Gas Association (AGA), the American Public Gas Association (APGA) and America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA). Trade allies representing motor fuel retailers and users – the American Trucking Association, National Association for Convenience Stores (NACS), Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) and Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) – have expressed their support for the DGE approach as a sensible and necessary way to dispense, market and sell natural gas.
Public policy makers from across the US also support the DGE proposal. The Governors of Colorado and Oklahoma issued a joint letter expressing support. The Governors of Pennsylvania and Utah likewise issued individual letters supporting the continued use of the GGE standard and adoption of a DGE standard for LNG. Finally, fifty-four members of the US House of Representatives signed a letter expressing their support.
"When people make business decisions, they want an easy way to make comparisons," said Amy Farrell, a vice president of ANGA. "This is a good, common-sense direction that is consistent and understandable."
The CNG example
In 1994, the natural gas industry worked with NCWM to develop a standard that paved the way for CNG to be sold in gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE). That standard has benefited consumers and industry alike because it provides a common unit for comparing the cost of CNG and gasoline. Now the natural gas industry has asked NCWM to work with it to develop a DGE standard. Current rules do not address LNG, and, as CNG and LNG are increasingly being adopted in heavy-duty applications where diesel fuel is the dominant fuel, this news standard would be beneficial. The DGE standard is universally supported by industry and would allow for the ready comparison of CNG and LNG with diesel.
In addition to providing a common-sense unit of sale for fuel retailers and users, the DGE standard provides a benchmark for consistency with taxation methods and creates efficiencies associated with accounting and record keeping requirements. Fourteen states have already adopted taxation changes so that LNG is taxed based on the DGE standard and more states are moving in this direction.
"NGVA thanks our members, industry allies and public officials for their tireless efforts that have resulted in getting the DGE standard to the point where it is a voting issue at the NCWM Annual Meeting," said NGVA President Richard Kolodziej. "The adoption of the DGE standard would provide greater uniformity and clarity for the continued use of natural gas as a transportation fuel."
Adapted from press release by Ted Monroe
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