Senators Inhofe and Donelly introduce NGV bill
U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe and Sen. Joe Donnelly introduced the Natural Gas Long Haul Truck Competitiveness Act of 2014, a bill that would level the playing field between diesel and natural gas long-haul trucks by allowing them to carry the same amount of freight.
Due to natural gas fueling systems weighing roughly 2,000 pounds more than diesel systems, trucks running on natural gas are forced to carry less freight under current federal weight restrictions.
“Natural gas is a clean and affordable domestic energy resource that has the potential to drive American energy independence to reality,” said Inhofe. “The additional weight of natural gas fueling systems eats into the total the trucks are allowed to weigh with freight under current federal regulation, leaving it at a disadvantage to its diesel counterpart. This legislation brings the federal regulation for long-haul trucks into the 21st century by giving natural gas powered trucks the ability to compete on the same playing field in the amount of freight it can transport.”
“Supporting natural gas-powered vehicles is a part of the all-in approach to American energy that we need,” said Donnelly. “While the standards in this bill are currently in place in Indiana, we need to expand them across the country so more companies are encouraged to make the investment in natural gas-powered vehicles.”
“NGVAmerica applauds Sens. Jim Inhofe and Joe Donnelly for their legislation to allow natural gas trucks to exceed federal weight limitations when operating on the Interstate Highway Systems,” said Rich Kolodziej, president of NGVAmerica. “Despite the many positive attributes of natural gas trucks including competitive fuel costs and environmental benefits, there is still a constraint to owning and operating a natural gas vehicle because of the Federal rules on highway truck weights. The extra weight of natural gas tanks, both CNG and LNG and associated equipment (pumps, hoses etc.), means that a natural gas truck cannot carry the same amount of freight as a diesel truck given the weight limits on Federal highways. This causes a revenue loss of up to 2 to 3 percent due to reduced payload. Legislation such as this will help accelerate the growth of the NGV market and provide our country with the environmental benefits and greater energy independence that comes with using clean domestic natural gas as a vehicle fuel.”
Press Release, August 5, 2014; Image: inhofe.senate.gov