The nation is searching for cleaner, cheaper, domestic and more secure fuel sources for transportation – and natural gas is a big part of the solution. Now, the White House is showing strong support for policies that grow the use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) across the country.
On Friday, March 15, President Barack Obama stood in front of a row of alternative fuel vehicles, including a white Honda Civic Natural Gas Vehicle, at the Argonne National Laboratory and unveiled his plan for the Energy Security Trust.
“We can support scientists and engineers that are devising new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy – like advanced biofuels and natural gas – so drivers can one day go coast to coast without using a drop of oil,” the President said in his speech.
The proposed trust will expand alternative transportation fuels and shift American vehicles away from their reliance on foreign oil. The plan will provide $2 billion over 10 years, using revenue from federal oil and gas development, for research that focuses on developing cost-effective transportation alternatives, including domestically produced natural gas.
In a White House factsheet, President Obama commits to leveraging our domestic abundance of natural gas by working with the private sector to grow the use of natural gas in the nation’s trucking fleet. Among other items, the plan includes the following measures that support NGV growth:
- Incentives for medium-and-heavy-duty trucks that run on natural gas or other alternative fuels.
- Providing a credit for 50 percent of the incremental cost of a dedicated alternative-fuel truck for a five-year period.
- Laboratories that use federal resources to develop different models for deploying advanced vehicles.
Kathryn Clay is the Executive Director of the Drive Natural Gas Initiative, a collaborative effort of natural gas utilities and producers to develop the use of clean, domestic, affordable natural gas as a transportation fuel.
“About two-thirds of U.S. oil consumption in the United States fuels the transportation sector, and over 70 percent of the oil we use is imported,” said Clay. “We have a nearly one hundred years supply of clean, abundant, domestic natural gas and it just makes sense to use that resource to fuel our cars, trucks and buses. The President’s remarks recognize the role that NGVs can play in boosting our national security, improving our environment and reducing fuel costs for our citizens.”
The American Gas Association is thrilled to see the President voice his support for encouraging the growth of natural gas vehicles, which is already underway thanks to private sector investments to build fueling infrastructure across the country, encouraged by the low cost of natural gas.