New Mexico House Speaker Ben Lujan has introduced legislation to boost the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. HB 198 would give consumers an alternative to soaring gasoline prices and providing some incentives to convert their vehicles to run on compressed or liquefied natural gas. Currently, there are nine natural gas transportation fueling stations in the state, and most of the natural gas vehicles (NGV) are owned by municipalities. Under the proposed law vehicle owners would be credited with 70% of the conversion costs to switch to an NGV after receiving a 40% federal tax credit between now and Jan.1, 2017. A similar bill passed the state's House last year but died in the Senate Finance Committee. Lujan said the typical NGV costs about $1.76/gallon, compared with more than $3/gallon for gasoline-fueled vehicles.

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