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 Legislation to Promote Natural Gas Vehicles is Momentous, says AGA   


Washington, DC –The American Gas Association (AGA) said today that a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to fund research and development for natural gas vehicles will help the country reach its environmental goals.

The bill, H.R. 1622, was written by Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) and authorizes the Department of Energy to spend $30 million annually for a five-year period on research and development for natural gas vehicles.   It passed the House this week by an overwhelming vote of 393-35.

“In 2008, natural gas vehicles displaced 250 million gallons of petroleum in the United States.  With adequate support, by 2020, that number could grow to 10 billion gallons,” said David Parker, president and CEO of AGA.  “Because natural gas is a domestic fuel, funding natural gas vehicles will help lessen our dependence on foreign oil.”

Natural gas is the cleanest burning alternative transportation fuel available today.  For example, natural gas vehicles reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 70 percent and nitrogen oxide by nearly 90 percent when compared to most gasoline-powered vehicles.  “These numbers are astounding,” said Parker.  “We’re pleased lawmakers have caught on to the environmental benefits of natural gas vehicles and are funding new research and development.”

According to a recent report by the Potential Gas Committee, natural gas is available in extremely large quantities in the United States, with 100 years of supply available today and new technologies coming online that have the power to unearth enough gas to supply the country for much longer.

“Because it is clean, abundant and domestic, natural gas is the clear choice to power America’s vehicles.  More research and more development will only improve our transportation model,” Parker said.

Additionally, Parker said, natural gas costs one-third less than conventional gasoline at the pump. “In a time when fiscal resources are strained and the country is seeking energy security, natural gas vehicles are the right fit.  We look forward to watching them become a mainstay of society here in the United States.”

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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.

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