Alternative fuel issues on the docket in state legislatures nationwide

Alternative fuel incentives, carbon reduction rules and transportation infrastructure are all issues currently under consideration in state legislatures across the U.S. Let’s take a look at what’s currently up for debate and how it could potentially affect your fleet.

On the West Coast, lawmakers are being asked to decide whether to lift the 2015 sunset date on the Oregon Clean Fuels Program. Created in 2009, the Program creates a low-carbon fuel standard, with the goal of cutting the average carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 10 percent over the course of a decade. This can be achieved by either blending more ethanol and biodiesel into conventional fuels, or by alternative fuel providers and clean fleets selling fuel “credits” to those who don’t meet the low-carbon goals.

While many support extending the Program to ensure clean air for future generations of Oregonians–including alternative fuel providers like Blue Star Gas–opponents say it will only create higher prices for conventional fuel, goods and services. Now that the Oregon Senate has heard arguments from both sides of the debate, only time will tell whether this Clean Fuel Program has a future.

Meanwhile, the Virginia transportation funding reform bill is still under revision. Governor Bob McDonnell made several amendments today that included cutting the disputed $100 fee on hybrid cars to $64 a year. In a move similar to the Virginia bill, Vermont is also weighing the benefits of an extra registration charge for alternative fuel vehicles as a way to make up for reduced amount of gasoline taxes now that people are driving less overall and choosing alternative-fueled vehicles more often.

The Iowa Senate is considering a bill to provide a tax credit for the construction of alternative fuel stations, while the West Virginia State Senate’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted to reinstate tax credits for electric vehicles in a bill enacting incentives alternative fuel vehicles and refueling infrastructure. It will also soon be easier for Utah schools to run bus fleets on alternative fuel like CNG and autogas, and tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles–including those powered by propane autogas– in Colorado just passed the first House committee.

It’s a positive sign that alternative fuel vehicle technology is increasingly front-and-center in the cultural dialogue and supported by both the federal government and state legislators. However, regardless of government incentives, affordable alternative fuel like propane autogas is already widely available and viable for fleets, now. Visit the Alliance AutoGas website to find out more about switching your fleet vehicles to cost-effective, American-made alternative fuel.

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