Legislative Review: President Signs Flurry of Bills
On Friday, before leaving Washington for a Holiday vacation in Hawaii, President Obama signed several pieces of legislation that affect the NGV industry. First, the President signed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771). The bill extends the $0.50 per gallon credit/payment for the business use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, and the 30 percent/$30,000 investment tax credit for alternative vehicle refueling property. Also included in the bill is an extension of the 50 percent bonus depreciation option for nearly all business equipment placed in service in 2014. Information on how to claim refunds or payments for natural gas used or sold in 2014 will be provided in the next several weeks. Unfortunately, the LNG/diesel tax inequity issue was not addressed by the Congress; however, several Senators sympathetic to our cause expressed their commitment to exploring opportunities in the next Congress to correct this inequity. You may view the entire H.R. 5771 bill summary and text by clicking here: http://goo.gl/ja1RvL.
On Friday, the President also signed the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (NDAA). The NDAA includes an amendment offered by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Carl Levin (D-MI) that encourages the sale of NGVs by removing the current cap on fuel economy credits for dual-fuel NGVs, and by lowering the minimum driving range requirement for dual-fuel NGVs from 200 to 150 miles. NGVAmerica thanks Paul Kouroupas of NGVAmerica member company VNG for his efforts on this amendment.
On Tuesday, the President signed the FY 2015 Omnibus: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (PL. 113-235). This bill provides funding for most federal programs. The House Energy and Water Appropriations report accompanying this bill includes $27.9 million for outreach and development activities in the Department of Energy, of which $24 million would be for the Clean Cities program (the same as appropriated for FY 2014).