Print 54 comment(s) - last by GlobleWarmingi.. on Jul 14 at 7:04 PM

Natural gas could become the new ethanol -- the alternative fuel of choice -- if a new bill passes. Like ethanol engines, gas-natural gas dual mode engines suffer a performance loss of as much as 15 percent.  (Source:

The U.S. has among the world's most abundant natural gas deposits (regions with highest levels shown in brown).  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
A variety of vehicle weight classes are covered by new natural gas bill

A new bill, NAT GAS (New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions), has been proposed by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV),and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) which looks to push natural gas vehicles into the consumer mainstream.  The proposal looks to offer a bevy of natural gas vehicle purchasing, refueling and manufacturing tax credits which would eclipse even current credits for electric vehicles.

People purchasing a light vehicle capable of running on natural gas would get a $12,500 tax credit, significantly more than the $7,500 credit offered for plug-in vehicles.  Current tax credits for three other weight classes would double, up to a maximum of $80,000 for the largest vehicle class.

Bi-fuel (gas and natural gas) vehicles would also be eligible for a 50 percent incremental cost tax credit -- this means that 50 percent of the costs that companies assume from increasing production would be offset by tax credits.  The bill would also make it 100 percent tax deductible (with some limitations) to build a facility which builds natural gas vehicles.  The bill would also offer refueling stations up to $100,000 to provide natural gas vehicle refilling pumps.

The new bill was masterminded and heavily praised by oil and natural gas baron T. Boone Pickens.  Mr. Pickens had made headlines last year, announcing a massive wind power project.  Just last week, he essentially pulled the plug on the project, and called natural gas the "only option" for the U.S.

With his heavy natural gas holdings Mr. Pickens stands to make a small fortune if the bill should pass.  Indeed, the natural gas industry as a whole would see a huge boost from the bill.

Natural gas vehicles run on methane, the primary component of natural gas.  Methane engines run approximately as efficiently as gasoline/petrol engines, but are less efficient than diesel engines.  Dual-mode engines suffer a 10 to 15 percent efficiency loss over gas-only engines, due to the higher octane number of 120-130.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Arizona fiasco
By wookie1 on 7/13/2009 8:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
We had an alt-fuel subsidy in AZ in the '90's, where people would get big tax credits to buy natural gas or dual fuel vehicles. It was about to bankrupt the state, the plug was pulled, and the politicians involved had to find other careers. The dual fuel provision is the big killer. People get this to qualify for the tax break, but then only use gasoline as there are extremely few places to fill up with natural gas. (Maybe it was propane also, I can't recall, but either way there were almost no fueling stations).

RE: Arizona fiasco
By klstay on 7/14/2009 9:09:35 AM , Rating: 2
Unlike in the short lived fiasco in AZ, I instead got a reasonable state tax credit for each of the 3 natural gas vehicle I purchased about three years ago. (One for myself, one for my son, and one for my father.) I pay $.97/gallon for fuel. These vehicles all have practically zero emissions. The fuel is 100% domestic. The engines are almost identical to the regular gas only models.

Basically, who cares if ole T. Bone gets rich off this? Transitioning 1/4 of the private vehicles and 1/3 of fleet vehicles to natural gas would be a HUGE win for all parties concerned.

RE: Arizona fiasco
By wookie1 on 7/14/2009 11:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it's not even close to zero carbon emmissions, but I agree that as far as harmful emissions natgas is a nice fuel. If the engine were designed for natgas only and not gasoline, you could really raise the compression ratio and/or add a turbo and get efficiency closer to a diesel. Keeping the CR low enough for gasoline wastes the potential of the fuel.

I don't see why we would want to give government subsidies to T.B.P to swindle us, he should have to do that with his own money.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki