Texan Senator Carlos Uresti, together with industry representatives, has announced the filing of Senate Bill 12. The bill will provide financial incentives for state agencies, counties and cities to purchase vehicles that use alternative fuels.
Uresti launched the legislation with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Railroad Commissioner David Porter. Commenting on the occasion, he said: “Senate Bill 12 will jumpstart the use of natural gas and other alternative fuels here in Texas. We have an abundant supply of natural gas, and a portion of that supply is flared into the air every day due to a lack of demand. We can reduce flaring and put that gas to use - starting with our state fleet.”
Dan Patrick added: “Senate Bill 12 will put Texas in the lead for natural gas vehicles in state agencies and local governments. It’s cheap, it’s clean, it’s here in Texas and will save taxpayers millions of dollars in fuel costs.”
Grants for vehicles
The bill will allow agencies or entities that operate more than 15 vehicles to apply for grants to convert or replace vehicles to models that use CNG, LNG or LPG.
Texas’ Railroad Commissioner, David Porter, expressed his support for the legislation, saying: “I commend Lt. Gov. Patrick and Sen. Uresti for their leadership in expanding Texas’s transportation fuel markets and for their efforts to make Texas the national leader for natural gas vehicles. By transitioning state government vehicles to this domestic fuel, we can set an example for the rest of the state and nation, and inject some serious fuel competition into the transportation sector.”
Funding for the programme will come from fees already collected from motorists and industry for the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), which was established by the legislature in 2001 and currently contains more than US$800 million. The bill allows up to 3% of the TERP fund balance to be used each year to finance the new governmental alternative fuel fleet program. The bill will also expand a programme that provides state grants to build alternative fuelling stations.
“Expanding the market for Texas natural gas and alternative fuels will put more Texans to work. It’s past time to put this funding to good use,” Uresti concluded.
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
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