Press Releases

Terry, Graves Introduce Trio of Natural Gas Infrastructure Bills

Legislation would make it easier for long haul trucking industry to utilize natural gas as fuel

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Washington, Jan 28 | comments

U.S. Representatives Lee Terry (R-NE) and Sam Graves (R-MO) have introduced a trio of bills to improve the ability of long haul truck drivers to access and utilize natural gas as a fuel.  The legislative proposals are aimed at making it safer, more convenient, and more cost-effective for trucking transportation companies to use natural gas when transporting goods across the country.

A number of nationwide publications have highlighted the growing trend toward natural gas in transportation.  Among them, an April 2013 New York Times article highlighted the potential for a transformation of long haul trucking, citing the affordability of natural gas as well as the move by companies like UPS and Proctor & Gamble to employ natural gas trucks as an increasing part of their fleets.

To ensure our nation’s infrastructure is prepared for such a shift, the three bills would:

  • Direct the Secretary of Transportation to designate natural gas fueling corridors for long haul truck traffic.
  • Allow an exemption from the current truck weight limit solely for the purpose of the weight of the natural gas tank, so that trucks using the fuel are not at a disadvantage
  • Establish a task force among the Departments of Energy and Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), members of Congress, state government, and private sector representatives to evaluate barriers to transition from diesel fuel to natural gas, as well as the costs and benefits of using natural gas in trucks and what such a switch could mean for the Highway Trust Fund.  The task force would produce a report within 120 days of the bill becoming law.

President Obama is also expected to address the advantages of using natural gas in transportation during his State of the Union address later today.

"I have been and will continue to be a strong advocate for diversifying our nation's energy supply," said Congressman Terry.  "On a recent trip to the Baaken, I witnessed first-hand our abundant supply of natural gas being flared because it's cheaper to burn than it is to capture.  With this plentiful resource, I'm convinced that we can and must expand natural gas use in transportation.  Learning everything we can about barriers to natural gas use and removing those barriers should be common sense in our quest for an all-of-the-above energy strategy. I'm pleased to partner with my friend Sam Graves on these three pieces of legislation will help further diversify our energy portfolio."

“America is rich in natural gas resources, as we’ve seen in recent years with the shale gas revolution,” said Congressman Graves, who chairs the small Business Committee.  “Natural gas is more cost-efficient than diesel, meaning consumers will feel the savings when shopping at WalMart and Hy-Vee.  It also has the ability to substantially reduce emissions.  Utilizing natural gas in the long haul trucking industry just makes sense.  These bills, which I’m proud to introduce with my friend Lee Terry, provide the tools necessary to make sure companies looking to use natural gas are not at a disadvantage.”

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Tags: Energy