Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congress representative Rahmn Emanuel has announced plans to introduce legislation that will compel automakers to make 10 per cent of their fleet vehicles powered by natural gas by the year 2018. Emanuel’s proposal, which will be formally introduced later this week, also includes incentives and tax credits to add natural gas pumps at 20,000 stations across the U.S.

This proposal is a hat trick for America: it’s good for our environment, good for our national security and good for drivers who are suffering at the pump,” Emanuel said. “Natural gas is cheap, green and America-made and it’s time we encouraged the use of natural gas vehicles here in America. American drivers should be able to buy a car that runs on a cleaner fuel that is currently half the cost of gas. Developing cars that run on natural gas and making it available at the gas station or at home will save money for consumers and help end our dependence on foreign oil.”

The legislation offers a US$90,000 tax credit to encourage gas station owners to install natural gas fuel pumps; provides US$2.6 billion in bonding authority to states that provide no- or low-interest loans to stations to install the pumps; requires gas stations owned by the major oil companies to install at least one natural gas pump in each station by 2018; and includes tax credits for drivers who convert their cars to run on natural gas and for those who own “Phill” units, which allow drivers to use their home natural gas lines to refuel their vehicles.

Currently, natural gas costs about half the price of gasoline and produces approximately one-third fewer emissions. Additionally, 98 per cent of the natural gas currently consumed in the U.S. is produced in North America, with estimates that the U.S. has a 118-year supply.

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