Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today voted against the Natural Gas Act amendment to the Boxer-Inhofe highway bill, which was offered by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Richard Burr (R-NC). With this amendment defeated, Senator Inhofe will introduce S.2174, a bill that will help incentivize Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) without taxpayer subsidies.
"I have been one of the most vocal supporters of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in the U.S. Senate, but the Natural Gas Act amendment brought forward today is simply a political measure Democrats will use to appear to support natural gas, while President Obama and his green team wage an all-out war on hydraulic fracturing," Senator Inhofe said.
"This amendment may incentivize NGVs but it does so at an enormous cost: it taxes natural gas at the pump in order to pay for subsidies of up to $64,000 to buyers of NGVs, up to $100,000 for refueling stations, and $200 million for the production of vehicles. The taxpayer could be on the hook for billions, but we don't know the full extent of the cost because this bill has not yet been scored by CBO or the Joint Committee on Taxation. The bottom line is that the promise of NGVs is strong on its own - it does not need taxpayer subsidies to thrive.
"In an effort to move a NGV bill through Congress, I am introducing S. 2174,which will help tear down regulatory barriers to the market entry of NGVs without government handouts. My bill will ensure that NGVs are given equal treatment with electric vehicles; that way they can get the appropriate credit under CAFE standards for their role in reducing foreign petroleum consumption. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this bill, which will help create jobs and increase our energy security."