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U.S. Senate Passes Energy Bill Amending Fuel Economy Credits

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed an energy bill that included an amendment offered by Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) that will expand the market opportunities for natural gas vehicles.

The legislation offered by the Senators assists with the development and production of NGVs by improving the fuel economy credits provided for such vehicles. Current federal rules limit the fuel economy credits for bi-fuel NGVs by assuming by default that such vehicles only operate 50 percent of the time on natural gas. The legislation would increase the percentage used for calculating fuel economy based on a better understanding of actual in-use fueling of such vehicles. The bill must now be reconciled with a previously passed House measure in a conference committee.