The average price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.72. What can we do?

Senate Bill 624 is moving forward at the Legislature, but the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is asking for your help to ensure it becomes law.

This proposed legislation will advance new infrastructure for natural gas vehicles and allow local, county and state government to save taxpayer dollars by converting their vehicle fleets to cleaner burning natural gas.

With the recent Marcellus and Utica Shale gas discoveries, natural gas has become important commodity in West Virginia. As a result, natural gas could be utilized as a cleaner, alternative fuel.

If this legislation passes, it could lead to tremendous things for West Virginia taxpayers and our state and local governments.

The rising price of gasoline

According to CNN, gas prices climbed on Tuesday to a nationwide average of $3.72 a gallon. Gas prices are projected to reach the $4-$5 a gallon range this summer. By ensuring that state and local governments can convert to natural gas, fleet vehicles will be less dependent on gasoline fuel. The savings could be enormous for the governments and the taxpayers.

Jobs

If this legislation passes, new infrastructure for natural gas vehicles will create new jobs.

Saving the taxpayers money

By making the tax credits transferable for governmental bodies, the state of West Virginia could save a minimum of $5 million a year in fuel costs, if it utilized the tax credit to convert to a natural gas fleet.

Natural gas is a cleaner alternative

Natural gas is simply cleaner than standard transportation fuels used today.

Conclusion

Natural gas conversion has been the focus of Kanawha Converts, a consortium of local governmental and business leaders, economic development, energy, and education agencies. The consortium was created through seed funding by the Kanawha County Commission for compressed natural gas (CNG) as a vehicular fuel for its fleet vehicles.

Currently, SB 624 is on its third reading in the Senate with the right to amend. The Charleston Chamber of Commerce would oppose any amendment to the legislation which would weaken the provisions within the bill.

The Chamber believes this bill is essential to achieving the goals or creating new jobs and saving the taxpayers money. If you agree, call your legislator now and ask them to support and pass the bill in its current form.


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