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Natural Gas for Transportation Bill to Be Reintroduced

U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-CT) Monday said he would reintroduce the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (NAT GAS Act). Last year the measure failed to make it to a vote in the House of Representatives despite having wide support in the energy industry.

"Natural gas is affordable, abundant and American," Larson said. "It costs one-third less to fill up a vehicle with natural gas than traditional gasoline and, maybe more importantly, we have enough natural gas in the U.S. to meet our energy needs for the next 100 years. Equally important, if we start making cars and trucks that run on natural gas, there's the potential to create over half a million American jobs."

According to a 2010 Department of Energy report, the cost of producing a kilowatt per hour of power using natural gas is cheaper than coal, nuclear, solar and wind. And the United States is estimated to have three times the natural gas equivalent amount of energy available compared to Saudi Arabia, Larson's office said.

The bill enjoys bipartisan support, with Republican Congressmen John Sullivan of Oklahoma and Kevin Brady of Texas and Democrat Dan Boren of Oklahoma joining Larson as original sponsors. In the last Congress the bill, which did not reach a vote in the House, was co-sponsored by 146 Members and had the support of oilman T. Boone Pickens as well (see Daily GPI, April 15, 2010; March 25, 2010).

"The NAT GAS Act takes a moderate approach to reducing our dependence on foreign oil by incentivizing American manufacturers to produce vehicles that run on American natural gas and encouraging American businesses and families to buy them," Larson said. "With rising gas prices and growing instability in oil regions around the world, the time to act is now."

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