Playing Small Ball on NAT GAS Act Pays Off

Keeping members of Congress in check is a full time job. It’s not just the big issues like the budget and debt limit that require attention, but also the small issues that don’t get much public attention, like the NAT GAS Act. As the New York Times points out:

“One week after Boehner’s March nod to the natural gas vehicles bill, Chocola’s and Needham’s groups joined more than two dozen others in March to call for a broad repeal of all industry-specific energy subsidies and a moratorium on new ones. The conservatives’ entreaty made few headlines at the time but caused a ripple effect now reaching the White House doorstep, as the Senate canceled its recess this week to dig in on a debt limit deal that now hinges partly on whether Republicans will accept revenue raised by rolling back ethanol and other energy tax breaks.”

What started off as a principled stand on market distorting energy subsidies, something very few people were talking about 6 months ago, is having an impact on ongoing debt negotiations.

And thanks to the efforts of conservatives around the country, 14 co-sponsors have pulled off the NAT GAS Act. This is no small feat. It takes far greater effort to pull off of a bill than it is to co-sponsor. Pulling off of a bill requires a Member to stand before the chamber and effectively admit they were wrong to sign onto the bill in the first place. 14 members of Congress have done this.

Unfortunately, there are still dozens of conservatives who continue to support this bill. Take action now to tell those Members that conservatives must not support this is a big-government handout.

This is not the only step in this process. We want to stop this new subsidy from taking over an industry like the failed-ethanol subsidy has done. We also want to roll back all subsidies that pick winners and losers in the market.

The real endgame is corporate tax reform, something that is missing from the current debt limit negotiations. All the subsidies need to be eliminated so that the free market can work and technologies can stand on their own merit.

We can start by stopping any new subsidies from taking hold of our economy.

Related Links:

Stop the Natural Gas Streaker!
Who Really Supports the NAT GAS Act (part 1)
Who Really Supports the NAT GAS Act (part 2)

Take action: Tell Congress to stop picking winners and losers in the energy market.

Please Share Your Thoughts

22 thoughts on “Playing Small Ball on NAT GAS Act Pays Off

  1. Switch the ethenal subsidy,which doesn’t work, to N.G. for transportion, which will work, as T Boon suggests. Creating jobs, cleaner air, and helping our trade balance .

    • Dear Mr. Thompson:

      I disagree with your position. The government should not be involved in markets.

    • Steve, Allowing the government, regardless of who is in power, to select the winners and losers in a commercial enterprise is NOT beneficial.

      If there is enough evidence to show a real benefit from the technology, then we could offer a limited time reduction in income taxes from the technology to everyone who choses to promote it.

      This generates the possibility of higher profits for a short time, to recover development and marketing costs, while still promoting employment and increasing personal income tax receipts.

      Under NO conditions should any cash or credit subsidies be allowed.

      If you are unaware, there have been conversions on the market for quite a few years that allow gasoline engines to be run on natural gas. these are either full conversions to only natural gas, or switchover conversions which allow operation on either fuel at the driver’s choice.

    • Ray – We need to get Washington lawmakers focused on real priorities, not these gimmicky market interventions. This is just like the earmark fight — if they can’t get the little issues right, they won’t be able to get the big issues right.

  2. I think all politians should vote for the Nat Gas Act.
    We can stop the oil producers from controlling our economy. They are giving GE everything for the green enififetive aren’t they? GE paid no taxes because of this and for paying for Obama to win the last election. I say stop GE gifts and go full speed ahead with the Nat Gas Act.

    • Tim – GE uses our absurd corporate tax code to their advantage. Rather than carving out new gimmicks for another industry, let’s lower the rate and remove all the incentives. It will level the playing field, make us more competitive abroad and put a lot of lobbyists out of work in Washington.

    • Steve, The natural gas companies, are the same ones that drill for oil. In many cases the oil is pushed to the surface by the pressure of natural gas.

      The major problem is regulations of emissions that specify how the result must be accomplished, not what the result must be.

      Natural gas is used in almost every gas station in the country which has a heating system. this could easily be tapped to feed a compressor which would then supply the CNG for sale at the station.

      The problem is regulation, not distribution.

  3. These politicians do not get it! Remove tax incentives for all! Simplify the TAX CODE. Get the 35,000 lobbyists our of DC. The USA has the highest TAX ON BUSINESS in the WORLD! That exports American Jobs. Solution: Reduce Taxes on Business! That will bring American JOBS home. Let companies bring home overseas profits without taxing them. They have already paid overseas taxes. Do not double tax them.

    • First you have increased the price of electricity by adding a burden of cost on coal, the most cost effective means to generate electricity, with government environmental edicts increasing costs. This transfered more electric generation using NG, which increased the price of NG by increasing demand. Meanwhile government restricts oil drilling, increasing the cost of gasoline which causes us to even consider NG as a cost effective means of powering automobiles if government will subsidize the cost. (as we are doing with ethanol) . Each time government is involved in any way, costs increase with no benefit to efficiency. Low energy cost has been a major generator for our world leading productivity and benefits to our entire population, in spite of government not because of government..
      what we need is for government to stand aside and allow the free market to develop our own abundent petroleum reserves and stop the flow of dollars to our enemies. Next, stop all subsidies and let the market find its proper price level for various energy resources as well as food, electricity, gasoline etc.

      this would return us to our premier position of world kleader and prosperity for our citizens.

  4. Normally I’d be against subsidies but we also need to nurture new technology that will be a huge plus for average Americans.

  5. We need to keep pushing the media to write fairly about all these boondoggles so that the public can make up their own minds about government expenditures and the people they voted into office.

    Obama is the worst. He gets away with the most. Imagine slamming companies that can utilize a private jet to make business trips, yet supporting high speed rail which few will utilize.

  6. Most people dont get (it) Nat Gas or CNG is more plentiful than oil, burns cleaner and is proven technology will work on new and old vehicles burns cleaner. What part of that dont you get. The product is available, the distribution system is not there. We in Utah are blessed with plenty of CNG and stations but if you have a dedicated vehicle you better know where stations are or you are walking. That is problem as long as keep distribution out of the hands of people like Pickens who jack up the price of CNG to within cents of regular fuel we will be find. We pay $1.25 here and that is lot better than 3.50 a gal

    • Steve – Folks around the country are identifying the economic incentive to switch to natural gas vehicles. See this column from our COO:

      If gasoline prices stay high and natural gas prices stay low, this process will accelerate. However, by involving the government, you run the risk that market fundamentals are not on our side and the government program turns into yet another boondoggle.

      Remember, folks made your exact same arguments about E85 several years ago…this is just the latest fad.

  7. Everybody is missing the fundamental question here… It is not whether a subsidy should be used or a tax relief should be granted; either way has drawbacks and benefits.

    In my opinion, the cogent questions is what technology will yield the highest return on the investment; this has more to do with the energy content of the fuel and the costs to use that energy efficiently. Petroleum fuels have a very high energy density, which is easily released by combustion… Natural Gas also has a high energy density, but there are problems with storage and distribution; chiefly it is a compressed gas so the handling and storage costs are significantly higher.

    Hydrogen Gas is the cleanest burning fuel and it is in abundant supply, however the cost to obtain this fuel is very expensive and there are storage and handling problems.

    So which economy will provide a long-term, clean burning, renewable resource? at what cost?. When we figure this out, we can argue the pros and cons of subsidies or tax relief.

    it is time to get it right folks! We should work to better our world as a hole, not line the pockets of the few or the lucky who happen to sit ontop of a valuable fuel supply.

  8. When economic power is centralized as an instrument of political power it creates a degree of dependence scarcely distinguished from slavery.

  9. I agree generally with the problem as stated by Mr Grossman. I also agree that the gov’t shouldn’t be picking winners and losers. I think the solution should take a page from the forerunner of NASA, ie, the NACA which helped do the fundamental work that was used by many businesses competing in the early days of flight technology.

    NACA funded pretty basic, but nevertheless somewhat applied, research that led to: efficient development of airfoils; NACA developed and leased out major wind tunnel test facilities and much more. They didn’t pick whether Boeing or Douglas or Curtiss-Wright would become the industry leaders. Rather, these companies had to compete, using both private and Govt R&D contract funds. But the gov’t funded some of the early, critical research and results were published for the benefit of all.

    Seems to me the energy issue could use something similar, as the Nation and industry seek to understand the ins and outs of competitive fuels. When the answers to source, refining, distribution, cost, pollution, safety and sustainability problems become clearer – – many private enterprises will be delighted to try to lead the way. Research isn’t the sum of our AWOL National Energy Policy , but it certainly needs to play a critical, and perhaps, central, role.

  10. Just a minute. First we have oil that won’t quit; whether it is from the Gulf or Atlantic shelf or Alska or Texas or the original drilling area of Pennsylvania. It can be from shale or in with NG.

    We have coal that can also serve us for hundreds of years.

    There is absolute proof that the Al Gore thieves have been lying about global warming.. South Florida just had the coldest day since 1933. Why base our assumptions on psychopaths and criminals (professors who doctor the figures for grant money) and the misled minions who think they are saving the world, while they destroy the economies that raise all the worlds standard of living.

    We need clean energy and have the technology for all of it to be clean. Start there and then after the clean technology is made to be used (forget CO2 plant life needs it to live) now let the free enterprise system work. In other words drill baby drill.

    Pray for the USA.

  11. Government should not be involved in markets. But let’s not let that philosophy appear to be an opposition to a sensible solution to our dependence on foreign oil. Natural gas is the way and we should do our best to get the story out.

    -There are many, many overlapping and unneeded government agencies that should just be done away with – may concerning nonsensical Environmental issues !!!
    and simply cut the bureacracies back that Obama has bloated since he came into office. There is no need to reduce Medical benifits to Seniors – of cut back the Soc. Security (except common sense cuts as those whose income is over appx 500k per year, do not need, and therefore should not collect Social Security. It is true “they earned it”, but it is also true that they do not need this bit, and I see nothing wrong in this instance that if you are lucky enough to have 500k income, you should be happy to help out some of those that were not so fortunate. ASnd believe me- I am a staunch conservative-which means I believe in helping when you can!!!

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