In the U.S. State of Texas, the Texas Fuels bill recently passed through both the House (HB 1979) and Senate (SB 26). The legislation provides state grants for government entities with more than 15 vehicles to purchase vehicles that use natural gas. State Rep. Brooks Landgraf, co-sponsor of the bill, said that for the first time, Texas will commit to providing state grants for governmental entities to purchase vehicles that utilize the abundant natural gas widely found in the state.
“Our state is the largest energy producer in our nation and utilizing Texas based fuels will support Permian Basin oil and gas producers by providing another market for their products and will help create jobs and grow our economy,” Landgraf said after the bill’s passage.
The legislation authorizes the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to assist in the conversion of government vehicle fleets to run on natural gas and other Texas based fuels that are produced in the Permian Basin and across the state.
As stated in the legislation, “a state agency operating a fleet of more than 15 vehicles, excluding law enforcement and emergency vehicles, may not purchase or lease a motor vehicle unless that vehicle uses compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG),” or any of a variety of other alternative fuels. Vehicles may be factory-fitted or converted for the use of alternative fuels.
The legislation further authorises agencies to purchase or otherwise obtain equipment or refueling facilities necessary to operate these vehicles.
Law enforcement and emergency vehicles are exempt from the law.
The Texas Fuels bill will not raise taxes or fees for taxpayers. Instead, the grants will come from the under-utilized Texas Emissions Reduction Plan fund which was established to reduce vehicle emissions in the state.
The bill now passes to the Governor’s desk and will go into effect in the near future.
Source: Brooks Landgraf, State Representative; State Legislature Online