In mid-July, the U.S. National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) at its Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, voted on the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) proposal. The proposal, put forward by NGVAmerica and others, was passed 29 votes to 9 (with several abstentions) in the House of Representatives but was rejected 27 votes to 14 in the House of Delegates, with no further progress possible until 2015.
NGVAmerica describes the debate in committees and in the open session as very spirited, but the many voices in favour were unable to move the strong faction within NCWM that opposes the DGE approach and that also would like to see the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) standard rolled back. That standard has been in place since 1994 and governs the sale of CNG.
The vote means that the current GGE unit for CNG remains in place without change. CNG station operators can continue selling it in GGE units but will not have the option of selling CNG in DGE to truckers as had been proposed. NCWM protocol means that next year, NCWM will have to decide whether to retain it as a Developing or Informational item. It could decide to drop the issue altogether, but NGVAmerica believes that to be unlikely since there is a lot of support for the measure, and NCWM needs to develop a standard for LNG since there currently is no recognized standard for dispensing LNG. In the absence of a standard, LNG fuel retailers have been selling in DGE units.
NGVAmerica will continue to work with its members and other trade allies to determine the best strategy for seeking adoption of the DGE standard. This effort is likely to include pressing for state legislation as a number of states have already introduced legislation that includes the DGE standard and several other states have expressed interest in proposing legislation.