Washington, DC –The American Gas Association (AGA) today commended Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) for encouraging the use of domestic, clean natural gas by introducing S. 1643, The Cleaner, Secure, Affordable Thermal Energy Act. The bill provides incentives for converting residential, commercial and public heating systems from fuel oil to natural gas.
“By encouraging Americans to install high-efficiency natural gas appliances, this bill can help us meet our growing clean energy demands as a nation,” said Charles Fritts, AGA vice president of government relations. “For instance, residential customers can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent or more when they replace fuel oil furnaces and boilers with high-efficiency natural gas appliances.”
“And increasing the use of domestic natural gas will lessen our dependence on foreign oil. If all fuel oil heated homes were converted to natural gas, U.S. oil imports could be reduced by 100 million barrels annually,” he said.
In addition, the bill includes a two-year extension of the 15-year depreciation schedule created for distribution facilities under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
“Maintaining an accelerated depreciation period will encourage the expansion and revitalization of the natural gas utility infrastructure because it decreases near-term tax liability and provides enhanced cash flow,” said Fritts. “This supports construction proposals that expand and revitalize the nation’s natural gas distribution infrastructure.”
“We look forward to working with legislators as they return from August recess and continue to craft energy legislation that promotes the use of low-carbon, high-efficiency fuels such as natural gas.”