Texas Senate Bill 12 to switch govt vehicles to natural gas applauded by T. Boone Pickens

Grants available to Texas counties, cities to switch to natural-gas vehicles if Senate Bill 12 passes

Texas government employees may soon be driving natural gas-powered cars and trucks if Senate Bill 12, filed Thursday, is passed, and that makes the Lonestar state a leader in switching to domestic fuels from imported oil, says T. Boone Pickens.

Senate Bill 12

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens.

A group of politicians and industry leaders led by Senator Carlos Uresti, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Railroad Commissioner David Porter announced the filing of the bill, which will provide financial incentives for state agencies, counties and cities to purchase vehicles that use less-polluting alternative fuels.

“Senate Bill 12 will jumpstart the use of natural gas and other alternative fuels here in Texas,” Uresti said. “We have an abundant supply of natural gas, and a portion of that supply is flared into the air every day due to a lack of demand. We can reduce flaring and put that gas to use—starting with our state fleet.”

Senate Bill 12 will allow agencies or entities that operate more than 15 vehicles to apply for grants to convert or replace vehicles to models that use compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, or liquefied petroleum gas.

“It’s cheap, it’s clean, it’s here in Texas and will save taxpayers millions of dollars in fuel costs,” said Patrick.

Funding for the program will come from fees already collected from motorists and industry for the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), which was established by the legislature in 2001 and currently contains more than $800 million. The bill allows up to three per cent of the TERP fund balance to be used each year to finance the new governmental alternative fuel fleet program.

Senate Bill 12

Texas Senator Carlos Uresti.

Senate Bill 12 will also expand a program that provides state grants to build alternative fuelling stations.

“I commend Lt. Gov. Patrick and Sen. Uresti for their leadership in expanding Texas’s transportation fuel markets and for their efforts to make Texas the national leader for natural gas vehicles,” said Porter, who launched his statewide Natural Gas Initiative in 2013.

“By transitioning state government vehicles to this domestic fuel, we can set an example for the rest of the state and nation, and inject some serious fuel competition into the transportation sector.”

Veteran oil and gas maverick T. Boone Pickens applauded Texas for taking the lead on switching to domestic fuels and away from imported OPEC oil.

“Competition has always been the Spirit of Texas – we pick the best value at the best price for most things, and it’s only right we do the same with fuel,” he said in a release. “OPEC oil just can’t compete with American energy.”

In recent years Pickens has been campaigning to reduce and eventually eliminate oil from foreign states whose policies conflict with American values. He has been pushing to transition the long-haul freight industry and other high horsepower applications to natural gas with his Pickens Plan.

He claims that even with low oil prices, fuelling with domestic alternatives is still much cheaper.

“Converting from diesel to alternatives like natural gas is a fiscally responsible move that will save the State and local governments millions on fuel costs,” he said. “That taxpayers savings represents another big investment in the Texas economy. This is exactly the kind of leadership we need on energy.”

 

 

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