Major alternative fuels initiative launched in Texas

Senator Carlos Uresti, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Railroad Commissioner David Porter and other legislative, agency, and industry leaders announced the filing of Senate Bill 12 to 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.”

The bill 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.

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 3 percent of the TERP fund balance to be used each year to finance the new governmental alternative fuel fleet program. SB 12 will also expand a program that provides state grants to build alternative fueling stations.