Press release from State Rep. Randy Frye
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - House Bill (HB) 1324, which deals with natural gas as a motor fuel, passed out of the House with a unanimous bipartisan vote. State Representative Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) authored the measure, which will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
“Natural gas is an abundant resource in Indiana and the country as a whole,” said Rep. Frye. “As we strive for energy independence, we need to look at innovative ways to distribute alternative fuels without sacrificing cost savings or efficiency. I strongly believe that compressed natural gas is a viable alternative to our traditional motor fuels.”
In terms of cost savings, compressed natural gas (CNG) can save Hoosiers $1.50 or more per gallon compared to oil-based fuels. Natural-gas powered trucks also have lower maintenance costs compared to diesel-fueled vehicles.
HB 1324 provides an income tax credit for natural gas powered vehicles weighing at least 33,000 lbs. It increases the maximum weight limitation for a vehicle that uses natural gas as a motor fuel by 2,000 lbs. The bill also imposes the motor carrier fuel tax on natural gas, equivalent to the existing rates imposed on gallons of gasoline.
Currently, the United States is leading the world in natural gas production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that there are 2,203 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas in our country. At the present usage levels, our domestic supply of natural gas is projected to last between 90 and 100 years. The New Albany Shale deposit alone is estimated to hold between 86 and 160 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.
“CNG provides an opportunity for more jobs to be created and cheaper fuel costs at the pump, a win-win for Hoosiers,” said Rep. Frye. “Given the new technological advancements in extracting natural gas, it has become more economically feasible and environmentally-friendly to be used as an everyday motor fuel. We have large, plentiful reserves available to us right here in Indiana that can provide another option to gasoline without compromising convenience or productivity.”
In addition to the potential savings and independence associated with using alternative fuels, light-duty vehicles fueled by natural gas decrease carbon emissions by 85 percent.