NGVAmerica president Richard Kolodziej called it “unfortunate and disappointing” that the new Federal guidelines for truck fuel economy in the U.S. does not include incentives for natural gas use.

“It is unfortunate and disappointing that this Administration has not included incentives for natural gas powered trucks,” said Kolodziej. “The rules are designed to address the urgent and closely intertwined challenges of dependence on oil, energy security and global climate changes, and natural gas vehicles do just that and more.

“These vehicles are capable today of delivering greenhouse gas reductions of more than 20% compared to petroleum fueled vehicles,” he added. “And every new dedicated natural gas vehicle that is put into service displaces 100% of the petroleum that would otherwise be used.”

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the new greenhouse gas/fuel economy standards yesterday. The standards split vehicles into three categories, each with separate targets to reach: heavy trucks and tractor-trailers; heavy-duty pickups and vans; and vocational vehicles. The rules will go into effect with 2014 model-year vehicles.

For more on what the new standards are, click here.

According to NGVAmerica, the 660-page document lays out regulatory incentives for electric, hybrid, and fuel-cell vehicles, but none for natural gas, which it says is the cleanest burning commercial fuel available today.

“In the weeks ahead, NGVAmerica will be working with its members and others in the natural gas industry to ensure that EPA is aware of the benefits of natural gas trucks and includes a stronger role for them in its final rule,” said Kolodziej.

Comments on the proposed rules are due by Jan. 3, 2011.