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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With gas prices constantly reaching new records, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act of 2011 has again come back to light.
Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-N.J.), urged the U.S. Senate today to pass the legislation that would extend tax credits for natural gas vehicles and the building of related infrastructure. The credits would be fully paid for by a temporary user fee on natural gas used as a vehicle fuel.
Menendez first introduced the bill in November, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Richard Burr, (R-N.C.).
"Some may think this is just another handout for oil companies," Menendez said during today's Senate hearings. "It's not. At our current rate of consumption, natural gas can provide a solution for over 100 years."
Menendez added that extending natural gas credits would reduce foreign dependence on oil and could lead to exporting the fuel alternative to other countries if needed.
"We can't let this opportunity pass us by," he said. "If you vote against this you can't say you did everything for your constituents to help reduce gas prices."
Despite Menendez' plea, the price of natural gas reached a 10-year low today, something Dan Dicker, MERC Block president said on CNBC he was surprised about.
"This is the third iteration of the NAT GAS bill," he said. "It's an inevitable move to natural gas whether Congress likes it or not. You can fill up with natural gas for $1.60 per gallon right now."
Dicker continued that people should call their political representative and encourage them to get the NAT GAS bill passed.