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Florida Legislature Approves Natural Gas Vehicle Incentives

May 2, 2013

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Today, the Florida House passed HB 579 to promote the use of natural gas fuels in Florida.

On Tuesday, HB 579 passed the Florida Senate 39-0 and was immediately sent to the Florida House. That chamber took up the bill on Thursday, passing it 116-2. 

The legislation encourages commercial fleet owners to invest in new natural gas vehicles through grants administered by the Office of Energy at the Florida Department of Agriculture. The immense popularity of American natural gas among Floridians contributed to the bill's success.

In February, the coalition announced the results of a public opinion survey conducted by TelOpinion Research Feb. 7–12, 2013.  The survey found that 72% of Floridians supported a program to help convert commercial fleet vehicles from traditional fuels to American natural gas, decreasing U.S. reliance on imported oil, creating jobs and improving air quality. 

The survey also found that 96% of respondents believe it is important to promote energy independence in the United States; 93% believe it is important to create new, well paying jobs; and 95% believe it is important to protect Florida's environment.

In 2013, the Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition published an updated study by Fishkind and Associates indicating that a natural gas vehicle incentive program could create over 10,000 new jobs, more than $300 million in wages and over $1 billion in economic impact. 


Comments

  1. 1. Michael Taylor [ May 03, 2013 @ 09:17AM ]

    I appreciated your article regarding Florida's approval of natural gas; however you left out another viable fuel..... Propane Autogas which is also included in the bill. Propane Autogas is the most widely used alternative fuel in the US and rapidly becoming the fuel of choice in class 1-7 vehicles which includes school buses. Please understand that I am excited about natural gas approval but feel you should include all alternative fuels which are making a difference in the US. If you would like more information please let me know.

  2. 2. GREG FOREMAN [ May 06, 2013 @ 09:26AM ]

    Propane is a far better alternative fuel in a number of respects when compared to natural gas. First, a distribution system already exist propane usage. Propane is available across the country. Additional distribution would not be as costly nor complicated as developing a distribution system for natural gas. Second, propane is far more “powerful” a fuel than natural gas. Propane provides 2.50 times more energy than natural gas. Translated into mileage, this fact means 100 miles of propane usage equates to 40 miles of natural gas usage. When compared with diesel, natural gas provides less than 25% of the energy-1,000 Btu's vs 5,000 Btu's for diesel. Stated another way, natural gas trucks would have 75% less range than comparable diesel fueled vehicle, necessitating extensive and expensive conversions to achieve the same mileage. Propane would allow trucking companies to maintain production levels from a delivery standpoint. Third, this point goes ties in with the second point, providing more power, converting trucks to use propane would be less costly because the required fuel tanks would be ¼ the size of comparable fuel tanks required for natural gas. The logic is simple, smaller tanks would not require as extensive and expensive adjustment to the current truck design. Fourth, propane is as environmental friendly as natural gas. Propane is second only to natural gas in CO2 emissions. In my mind, propane is a “no brainer”. Natural gas fleet usage should be considered a “flash in the pan”. Natural gas conversions will result in costly expenditures that are both unnecessary and counter productive to the interest of the public, the environment and the trucking industry.

 

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