“NO” on the NAT GAS Act Amendment

Today, the Senate will vote on the Burr-Menendez-Reid NAT GAS Act Amendment to MAP-21 (S.1813). The long-stalled New Alternatives to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act would provide significant subsidies for all aspects of the natural gas vehicle industry – from the production of natural gas-powered vehicles and the purchase of these vehicles to the installation of fueling stations.  It would also impose a new tax on natural gas.

Proponents of the legislation falsely claim it is necessary to jumpstart the nascent industry. In reality, the subsidies are not necessary because the market is responding without the heavy hand of government picking winners and losers. Compressed natural gas (cng) is selling for the equivalent of about $2.59 per gallon of gasoline, whereas the current price of regular gasoline hovering around an average of $3.76 – and expected to go higher.

The free market does not need taxpayer-funded subsidies to choose the next winning technology. In recent days, American auto manufacturers announced plans to expand natural gas vehicle production. Chrysler announced a bi-fuel (gasoline and compressed natural gas) version of its popular Dodge Ram pickup truck, without the NAT GAS Act subsidies. GM will do the same for its Chevrolet Silverado and its GMC Sierra 2500HD. Ford is offering a cng-version of its Super Duty. The trucking and transit industries have been adopting the technology for some time.

Washington has a long history of failure when it comes to subsidizing the next great technology.  Under the guise of national security, the Carter administration developed the Synfuel program and the Bush administration brought us the ethanol mandate. Private investment in emerging technologies that actually show promise is the way to solve the problem, not with more government intervention into the market.

Heritage Action opposes the Burr-Menendez-Reid NAT GAS Act Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our scorecard.

Related Links:
NAT GAS Act: Washington’s Big-Business Pork
SHOCKER: Natural Gas Vehicles on the way WITHOUT Government Subsidies!
No Need for NAT GAS Act
Senate Should Reject NAT GAS Act
Natural Gas Vehicles: Free-Market Capitalism at Work
Heritage: NAT GAS Act is Nothing but a Tax Subsidy that Distorts Markets