Natural Gas: Powering Pennsylvania’s Transportation Sector

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Pennsylvania’s abundant, clean-burning Marcellus Shale natural gas resources are laying the foundation for a manufacturing rebirth in the Commonwealth, creating tens of thousands of well-paying local jobs, enhancing air quality and lowering energy costs for consumers, all while generating much-needed tax and fee revenue for important investments, especially for our environment.

At the same time, American natural gas continues to play an increasingly growing role in powering our expanding transportation needs. Not only do compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicles burn more cleanly, but this homegrown resource is allowing consumers, businesses, and in many cases governments to cut fuel prices in half.

And momentum is building to further expand CNG stations and fleets across the region and the country – a result of bipartisan, public-private collaboration. Gov. Tom Corbett, along with Democrat and Republican governors from across the country, are advancing practical policies aimed at expanding natural gas vehicles and refueling availability.

This week, in fact, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will consider several bills, collectively known as the “Marcellus Works” package, focused on fostering CNG opportunities for consumers across the Commonwealth and a cleaner, more affordable transportation system for every Pennsylvanian. “The economic, environmental, and energy security benefits [of CNG] would be enormous” for our nation, according to recent Progressive Policy Institute study, further underscoring the importance of these common sense initiatives.

Pa. House Majority Whip Stan Saylor: “This legislation will move us away from our dependency on foreign oil, stimulate the economy, and clean up our environment. The need for a national energy policy has never been so prevalent, and this legislation will enable Pennsylvania to show America how to do it.” (Release, 3/13/13)

Gov. Ed Rendell: “Natural gas stands to make significant strides in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in particular. By transitioning SEPTA to natural gas, Philadelphia could lower taxpayer costs and refocus funds while making significant strides to be a better steward of the environment. … While improved air quality and savings at the pump are key advantages of natural-gas vehicles, the most critical benefit is our increased economic, energy, and national security. America’s dependence on foreign oil puts our citizens and our economy in jeopardy. Year after year, as OPEC continues to raise the price of oil, we cannot afford to continue relying on unstable, undemocratic regimes to provide our energy. Natural gas offers a solution, an American solution, produced right here in Pennsylvania. Despite these overwhelming benefits, there is a misunderstanding that residents must make a choice between protecting the environment and ensuring the dependable production of sufficient energy for power generation and transportation. This is a false choice. Pennsylvania can have both.” (Phila. Inq. op-ed, 6/4/12)

President Obama on Natural Gas Vehicles: “The potential for natural gas is enormous. And this is an area where there’s actually been some broad bipartisan agreement.” (Remarks, 3/30/11)

Pa. State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff: “Running vehicles on Pennsylvania natural gas makes a lot more sense to me than running them on oil from countries that don’t like us very much.” (Central Penn Business Journal, 4/10/13)

Gov. Rendell: “In transportation, natural gas produces up to 30% lower carbon emissions than petroleum and no particulate matter or sulfur dioxide. In other words, we ought to be using more, not less of it.” (NY Daily News op-ed, 3/27/13)

President Obama’s FY 2014 Budget: Commits to partnering with the private sector to adopt natural gas and other alternative fuels in the Nation’s trucking fleet. Private sector investments are building natural gas fueling infrastructure across the U.S. just as natural gas vehicle research is making the technology more economically and environmentally effective. The President is committed to accelerating the growth of this domestically abundant fuel and other alternative fuels in the transportation sector in a way that benefits our planet, our economy, and our energy security: putting in place new incentives for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that run on natural gas; supporting research to ensure the safe and responsible use of natural gas. (White House fact sheet, 3/15/13)

The “Marcellus Works” package – as well as the Commonwealth’s Natural Gas Vehicle Program, funded by Act 13 impact fee revenue – are catalysts for CNG growth, as well as job creation, cleaner air, more affordable energy and American security and competitiveness. These common sense efforts are Powering an American Renaissance.

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