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State Legislative Update: Texas and Oklahoma

In Texas, the state legislature has sent an appropriations measure to the governor that includes an increase of $40 million in FY 2016 and 2017 funding for the Texas Emission Reduction Program or TERP.  The bill includes an increase of more than $6 million for the Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program and $2 million more for the Clean Triangle Program and another $2 million in additional funding for the Alternative Fueling Facilities Program.  The appropriations measure (HB 1) is expected to be approved by the Governor.  The legislature however did could not agree on language contained in HB 14 or SB 12 and therefore it did not pass provisions that would have expanded portions of the TERP Program to include additional counties in the state and it also did not agree to a new program that would have require state agencies to convert fleets to use natural gas.  The bills also would have included funding to help pay for state government NGV purchases.   Details on the funding levels established for the TERP program and comparisons with FY 2014 and 2015 are provided below.

Oklahoma has enacted legislation (SB 656) that provides funding no interest loans for local government entities so that they can purchase new NGVs or convert vehicles to operate on natural gas.  Nebraska also recently enacted the Clean Burning Motor Fuel Development Act (LB 581), a measure that provides a rebate for new or converted alternative fuel vehicles or refueling equipment installed at residential location for non-commercial purposes. The vehicle rebate is worth 50 percent of the cost up to maximum of $4,500 for new or converted vehicles and the fueling equipment rebate is capped at $2,500. The measure currently only provides $500,000 in funding so it is expected to have a limited but welcome impact.

Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP) (Acct. 5071)Per HB 1 Enrolled June 1, 2015
TCEQ Administration$4,000,000$4,000,000$4,724,994$4,725,527
Regional Air Monitoring Program$3,000,000$3,000,000$3,000,000$3,000,000
Emission Reduction Incentive Grants$34,261,891$34,261,890$61,733,913$61,741,371
Texas Clean Fleet Program (minimum)$3,879,808$3,879,808$5,906,242$5,906,908
Texas Clean School Bus Program (maximum)$3,103,847$3,103,847$4,724,994$4,725,527
Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (minimum)$12,415,386$12,415,386$18,899,975$18,902,106
Clean Transportation Triangle Program (maximum)$3,879,808$3,879,808$5,906,242$5,906,908
Alternative Fueling Facilities Program$3,879,808$3,879,808$5,906,242$5,906,908
New Technology Implementation Grants (maximum)$2,327,885$2,327,885$3,543,745$3,544,145
Health Effects Study (maximum)$200,000$200,000$200,000$200,000
Energy Systems Laboratory Contract (maximum)$216,000$216,000$216,000$216,000
Drayage Truck Incentive Program (minimum)$1,551,923$1,551,923$2,362,497$2,362,763
*Light Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive (maximum)$3,879,808$3,879,808

Note: 2013–2014 Totals with some additions were $79.5 million

The LDV account would have had $5.9 million, but HB 14 was not approved—funding would have come from the Emission Reduction Incentive Grants line.