New Mexico Calls for Increase Use of Natural Gas Vehicles
On January 19, the New Mexico legislature introduced a Joint Memorial (HJM 5) touting the need to increase the use of natural gas vehicles in the U.S. NGVAmerica, TECO (New Mexico Gas Co.) and Clean Energy have been working with legislative leaders on these resolutions. The Joint Memorial sponsored by key leaders in the legislature calls for a report later this year on steps the state can take to promote the increased use of natural gas vehicles.
Specifically, the Joint Memorial requests that the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and the Economic Development Department develop a report that identify:
- How New Mexico can increase the use of natural gas vehicles (NGV) within the state including what types of incentives are needed;
- Obstacles to increasing the use of NGVs by large fleet operators and individual consumers;
- The methods being used by other states to promote their NGV markets;
- The potential for New Mexico to receive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program funding and other federal funding to increase NGVs; and
- A plan for alternative fuel corridors within the state.
The Departments are to consult with members of the New Mexico Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition. The Report is to be presented prior to November 15, 2016. New Mexico currently ranks number seven in the U.S. in terms of natural gas production. Increasing the use of natural gas in general and more specifically in transportation is seen as a key economic driver for the state. One area where natural gas vehicles could play a major role in New Mexico is in supporting the build out of the states inland port, Santa Teresa, which is currently experiencing significant growth.
The legislature also has introduced a measure in the House (HB 176) that directs state authorities to provide a weight allowance for natural gas trucks based on the additional weight of their fuel systems and storage tanks.