NCWM Does Not Adopt the DGE Proposal at Annual Meeting
Last Wednesday, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) at its Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, voted on the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) proposal. The measure was not adopted.
To pass, the proposal had to be approved by NCWM’s two “Houses”—the House of State Representatives and the House of Delegates. The House of State Representatives is composed of one voting member from each state. The DGE proposal received sufficient votes to pass in the House of Representatives with 29 states voting in support of the measure and nine states voted against the measure (several states abstained from the vote). The House of Delegates is composed of all active members present and registered at the Annual Meeting. There is no limit on the number of delegates from a state, and all county
and city weights and measures officials in attendance can vote (Industry representatives who are members of NCWM do not have a vote in either body). The only full members who cannot vote in the House of Delegates are those members of the House of Representatives. Our proposal failed in the House of Delegates where the vote was 27 against and 14 in favor.
The debate in committees and in the open session was very spirited. A number of state officials spoke up in favor of the DGE proposal and our industry was well
represented. There was some brief discussion of an alternative approach presented by staff from the National Institutes for Standards and Technology (NIST) that would have required natural gas to be sold by mass. This proposal, however, was never really seriously considered. Despite the efforts of industry and state regulators who supported our proposal, there continues to be a strong faction within NCWM that opposes the DGE approach and that also would like to see the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) standard rolled back. That standard has been in place since 1994 and governs the sale of CNG.
The vote means that the current GGE unit for CNG remains in place without change. CNG station operators can continue selling it in GGE units but will not have the option of selling CNG in DGE to truckers as had been proposed. The DGE proposal supported by our industry will go back to the committee level for additional consideration. Next year, NCWM will have to decide whether to retain it as a Developing or Informational item. It could decide to drop the issue altogether, but that is unlikely since, as the vote shows, there is a lot of support for the measure, and NCWM needs to develop a standard for LNG since there currently is no recognized standard for dispensing LNG. In the absence of a standard, LNG fuel retailers have been selling in DGE units.
Moving forward, NGVAmerica will continue to work with its members and other trade allies to determine the best strategy for seeking adoption of the DGE standard. This effort is likely to include pressing for state legislation as a number of states have already introduced legislation that includes the DGE standard and several other states have expressed interest in proposing legislation. A big thanks goes out to all the member companies who submitted comments, made phone calls and sent persons to the NCWM meeting. We also appreciate the efforts of our trade association allies and members, ANGA, AGA, and APGA as well as the California NGVC.