When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released a draft summary of the proposed Energy Bill on Tuesday, NGV America was quick to praise the move. “We applaud Senator Reid’s leadership in recognizing the important role that natural gas can play as a transportation fuel,” said Richard Kolodziej, president of NGV America. “Study after study shows that this country has tremendous natural gas resources. Using natural gas as a transportation fuel increases energy security, creates jobs, provides cleaner air and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

As proposed, the bill would provide a total of up to $3.8 billion in rebates to buyers of natural gas-powered vehicles, from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks. It would also establish a Natural Gas Vehicle and Infrastructure Development Program within the Department of Energy and provide grants for infrastructure development and research and development projects.

“One of the most creative parts of this legislation is that it provides a loan program to build more facilities in the United States to produce both natural gas vehicles and their components,” says Kolodziej. “And that means more U.S. jobs. It will support the United States in leading the way in natural gas vehicle technology.”

“The proposed incentives will encourage even more individual consumers and fleets to switch to natural gas vehicles. And we expect this to spur manufacturers to produce even more natural gas models,” he said. According to Kolodziej, natural gas vehicles are available today in the U.S. in all three categories of vehicles, light-, medium- and heavy-duty. However, natural gas models are still limited, Kolodziej said.