State Legislative Update: A Big Week for NGV Advocates
Last week brought a number of important victories for NGV advocates. In Ohio, the state’s legislature sent a bill (HB 390) to Governor Kasich that includes $5 million in new grant funding for heavy duty CNG, LNG and LPG vehicles. Funding is targeted at vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pound or greater and limited to vehicles that accumulate at least fifty percent of their miles in Ohio. Funding is to be available in fiscal year 2017 and administered by the Department of Environmental Protection. Leaders in the efforts for HB 390 in Ohio include the staff at Clean Fuels Ohio and NGVAmerica’s Ohio State Lead, Graham Bailey of Vectren, who worked closely with Ray Drake of UPS, Brett Barry of Clean Energy, Matt White of IGS, and Steve Kraus of Worthington.
Minnesota and South Carolina have joined the growing list of states—seven so far this year—that have now enacted legislation that provides a weight allowance of up to 2,000 pounds for natural gas trucks. Minnesota’s measure (HB 3588) was signed by Governor Mark Dayton on May 23. The Minnesota Trucking Association led the effort on the weight bill and was assisted by Kimberly Bonhart of UPS. South Carolina’s measure (HB 4932) was signed by Governor Nikki Haley on May 25. Efforts in South Carolina were led by Brett Barry of Clean Energy, Henry McCullough of Piedmont, Randall Essick of Waste Management, and Frank Morris of UPS.
Minnesota’s legislature also has sent a bill (HB 848) to Governor Dayton. The bill adjusts the tax on CNG so that it is based on the correct energy conversion factors and results in a slightly reduced tax rate. Leading the effort on HB 848 was Jon Williams of CenterPoint, who was aided by other NGVAmerica members Ryan Kenny with Clean Energy, Ray Drake and Kimberly Bonhart with UPS, and Susan Turbes and Jennifer Stokes of CenterPoint.
Also this past week, there was an important development in Oklahoma, where the state legislature has been working to address a significant budget shortfall. Among the measures contemplated was Senate Bill 1612, a measure that would have scaled back tax credits for natural gas vehicles and fueling infrastructure and capped the total amount of credits awarded each year to $6 million starting in 2017. The budget measure that was ultimately adopted this past week addresses the shortfall but leaves in place the tax incentives for natural gas vehicles and refueling infrastructure. A significant effort was put forward by NGV advocates to retain the incentives to continue the progress that is being made in Oklahoma. NGVAmerica members, including One Gas, were instrumental in leading the effort to convince policy makers not to roll back the incentives for NGVs. Some of the many advocates who led this effort include NGVAmerica State Lead Craig Perry with ONE Gas, Norman Herrera with Sparq NG, Scott Minton with OnCue, Ryan Kenny with Clean Energy, Tom Kirby with Love’s, Jennifer Nelson with Seaboard, and Danny Smith with UPS.
For more information, contact NGVAmerica Chair, State Government Advocacy Committee Sherrie Merrow at email@example.com or 303.883.5121, or NGVAmerica General Counsel & Director, Regulatory Affairs Jeff Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.824.2658.