Autogas seen as green, pro-American fuel; Congress weighs spiffs

ROUSH CleanTech, which has deployed propane autogas vehicles across the United States in Alabama, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, is praising legislators who support the pending 2011 Propane Gas Act in Congress.

This legislation, promoted by representatives and senators last week, encourages the use of propane autogas in commercial fleet vehicles. It does this by extending provisions in existing legislation for propane autogas fuel, propane autogas powered vehicles and refueling infrastructure through 2016.

The act aims to extend provisions found in the 2005 Energy and 2005 Highway Bills that established tax incentives for propane autogas. This law includes a 50-cent per gallon credit for propane sold for use in motor vehicles, a tax credit to consumers who purchase propane vehicles and a tax credit amounting to 30 percent of the cost of a fueling station not to exceed $30,000 per station, a ROUSH spokesman said.

"ROUSH CleanTech applauds the leadership shown by the sponsors of the 2011 Propane GAS Act," said Joe Thompson, president of ROUSH CleanTech.

“There is an adoption trend coupled with industry interest evident here that will generate attention from many of our nation’s largest fleets. As the nation’s largest consumers of foreign oil, we need to help them with their transition to an American-based fuel, like propane autogas.”

Almost all of the propane autogas used in America is American-made, making this vehicle fuel a serious option to reduce dependence on imported fuel.

The lead sponsor of this bill in the Senate is U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (pictured, D-MD). Original co-sponsors were Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO).

Lead sponsor in the House of Representatives is U.S. Rep John Carter (R-TX). Original sponsors were Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL).

President Obama ordered last week that by 2015 all new federal fleet vehicles be powered by alternative fuels.

Plus, propane autogas vehicles emit 12 percent less carbon dioxide, about 20 percent less nitrogen oxide and up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide than gasoline-powered vehicles, ROUSH says. That gives the act an opportunity to make a positive environmental impact, Thompson said.

“Propane autogas is domestically produced, readily available, and environmentally friendly. It’s the leading alternative fuel in the U.S., and the world, today,” he said

ROUSH CleanTech has converted many large commercial fleets to autogas. They include Frito-Lay, ThyssenKrupp Elevator, CenturyLink, SuperShuttle, Ford Motor Co., Time Warner Cable, Ferrellgas and Heritage Propane.

ROUSH offers dedicated liquid propane autogas fuel systems for Ford's F-150, F-250, F-350 pickup truck series; the F-450 and F-550 chassis cab truck series; the E-150, E-250, and E-350 van and wagon series; and the E-350 and E-450 cutaway van series.

You can reach's Hawke Fracassa at h[email protected]

Image source: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin Web site

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