Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) and other stakeholders will continue to push for common sense standards that allow customers to easily compare vehicle fuel costs and recognize the benefits of clean, domestically-produced natural gas. This follows a National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM) decision to give further consideration to a proposal to set consumer-friendly standards mandating that fueling stations sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) in diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) units.
While the NCWM currently requires that compressed natural gas (CNG) be sold in gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) units, there is no such standard for LNG. The NCWM recently considered a proposal to make the kilogram the official unit of sale for natural gas sold as a transportation fuel – a drastic departure from current market practice that would confuse customers and potentially impede the expansion of natural gas vehicle adoption.
“There are clear benefits to using more of America’s abundance of clean natural gas in transportation,” said AGA Vice President of Policy Strategy Kathryn Clay. “Consumers and businesses can save money and reduce emissions by driving a natural gas vehicle. Measuring LNG in kilograms would lead to unnecessary infrastructure costs, consumer confusion, and, most alarmingly, would stall the momentum of the growing natural gas vehicles industry and the associated economic and environmental benefits.”
There has been a 153 percent growth in the nation’s LNG refueling infrastructure since 2009 because it is a more affordable and cleaner alternative to diesel. On an energy equivalent basis, LNG is 26 percent cheaper than diesel and produces 20 percent fewer tailpipe emissions.
Regulators and congressional leaders nationwide have joined AGA in calling for consumer-friendly standards. A bipartisan group of 32 U.S. senators and more than 50 members of Congress sent letters to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker asking her to encourage the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which works closely with NCWM, to support the adoption of DGE standards.
On July 16, the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners passed a resolution at its Annual Summer Meeting urging policymakers to support the adoption of gallon equivalent standards as the official method of sale for natural gas motor fuels and supporting efforts to remove barriers to natural gas vehicle deployment.
“We applaud local utility commissioners and members of the House and Senate for recognizing the benefits natural gas can bring to our nation, and for taking action to help customers understand their options at the pump,” said Clay. “Using energy equivalent units like the DGE and GGE for the sale of natural gas fuels is the best way to make sure there is a level playing field for all transportation fuels. We need to make sure there is a single national standard for natural gas that helps customers easily compare fuel costs and choose a cleaner, cheaper, domestic alternative to petroleum-based fuels.”
The proposal to sell LNG in DGE units failed to pass a vote by the NCWM at its annual July meeting, but will return to the table for consideration at regional meetings throughout the year. AGA and other natural gas advocates will continue to educate policymakers about the importance of consumer-friendly refueling standards.