House Committee Markup of Surface Transportation Bill Preserves Natural Gas Refueling in Alternative Fuels Corridors Program
Washington, DC – With strong bipartisan support, an amendment by Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7) to include natural gas and propane refueling in a national program to expand alternative fuel vehicle use passed in the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s markup of its Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill, the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 2) late yesterday evening.
“Federal policies to advance and encourage the continued transition of fleets to cleaner, lower carbon technologies must include an all-of-the-above approach that meets the needs of all fleets,” said NGVAmerica President Dan Gage. “Representative Fletcher has long been a champion of affordable, cost-effective clean fuel transportation technologies including natural gas, and our members applaud her for her leadership to ensure that every clean fleet can benefit from expanded alt fuel corridor infrastructure investment.”
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act), created a national program for expanding alternative fuel vehicle use through alternative fuel corridors (Section 1413). While the program directed the Secretary of Transportation to designate corridors for natural gas, propane, electric and hydrogen vehicles, it did not provide grant funding for buildout of alternative fuel transportation infrastructure.
Both the House and Senate Surface Transportation Reauthorization bills included language to create a grant program for buildout of alternative fuel infrastructure as part of the FAST Act corridors program. While the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed its America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 (S.230) to include natural gas, electric, and hydrogen as eligible for corridors grant funding, the House of Representatives’ INVEST in America Act limited eligibility to only electric vehicle and hydrogen fueling in its originally proposed bill language.
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher’s successful amendment restored natural gas as an eligible fuel, allowing for the additional buildout of natural gas refueling infrastructure across America. NGVAmerica is proud of its work alongside Rep. Fletcher to build her successful coalition to include natural gas motor fuel.
The cleanest heavy-duty truck/bus engine in the world is fueled by natural gas. Investment in this zero-emission equivalent technology is the most cost-effective, proven, commercially available option for fleets committed to reducing smog precursor emissions and improving urban air quality. And when fueling NGVs with renewable natural gas (RNG), or biogas produced from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, commercial food waste facilities, and agricultural digesters, a carbon-negative lifecycle result can be achieved. According to data from the California Air Resources Board, renewable natural gas is the cleanest on-road motor fuel available today.
A copy of the successful amendment can be found here. The approved bill now moves to conference later this summer.