H.R. 1835: Legislation for Natural Gas Transportation

Includes: BP, CHK, CLNE, COP, GE, HMC, IR, UNG
by: Michael Fitzsimmons

Fantastic news! Apparently not every politician in Washington, DC is asleep at the wheel. Dan Boren (D-OK) introduced H.R. 1835, The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (or “NAT GAS” Act), to the 111th Congress on April 1, 2009. This bill contains robust support for natural gas transportation initiatives. Key components are:

  • Title I: Promote the purchase and use of NGVs with an Emphasis on Heavy Duty Vehicles and Fleet Vehicles
  • Title II: Promote Production of NGVs by Original Equipment Manufacturers
  • Title III. To Incentivize the Installation of Natural Gas Fuel Pumps and Service Stations and Depots and Domestic LNG Production Facilities for Small Energy Producers
  • Title IV: Natural Gas Vehicles (Not later than 2014, at least 50% of all new vehicles purchased by the US Government shall be capable of operating on natural gas.)

The bill contains tax credits for manufacturers and buyers of NGVs as well as for businesses that build natural gas refueling infrastructure.

The full text of the bill can be viewed here.

Introduction of a bill is the first step in the legislative process. Bills and resolutions first go to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go on to general debate. The majority of bills never make it out of committee. This bill was referred to three committees:

The members of each of these committees can be found in the links above.

This type of legislation promoting natural gas transportation is exactly what the United States needs right now. If you believe as I do the biggest threat to the American economy and American democracy is peak oil combined with America’s foreign oil addiction, please contact the members of these committees and voice your support for this bill! At a minimum, please contact those members from your home state.

Passage of this bill would have numerous benefits for all Americans. This bill would:

  • Reduce foreign oil imports and keep our energy dollars at home
  • Revitalize America’s natural gas and energy industries
  • Revitalize America’s automobile industry
  • Create millions of new jobs
  • Increase energy royalty payments to tens of thousands of American farmers and landowners.
  • Drastically reduce CO2 and gasoline particulate emissions.
  • Reinvigorate moribund American equity markets.
  • Create an American energy foundation for a future of extended prosperity, capitalism, self determination, democracy and freedom.
I want to list the cosponsors of this bill:

These fine folks should be congratulated! You all should contact your local representatives and ask them why they were not a cosponsor of this bill.

The investment angle on such legislation is obvious: producers of US natural gas like Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), and British Petroleum (NYSE:BP) would be strong beneficiaries of these policies. Manufacturers of natural gas compressors like General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) would see large increases in orders. Honda Motor Company (NYSE:HMC), maker of the Honda Civic GX NGV and shareholder in Fuelmaker (the manufacturer of the “Phill”), would also benefit. And don’t forget Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE). Passage of this bill might even prompt consideration for an investment in the natural gas ETF UNG.

Disclosures: The author owns COP.