Congressman Tim Ryan Amendment Supporting Natural Gas, Electric and Propane-Fueled Vehicles Included in Highway Reauthorization Bill

Nov 5, 2015 Issues: Helping Working Families, Energy

Washington, DC –The U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment by Congressman Tim Ryan to the six-year highway reauthorization bill (DRIVE Act). The amendment ensures states have the discretion to identify the most cost effective emission reduction technologies, including alternative fuel vehicles. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) cosponsored the amendment.

The amendment addresses one specific provision in the highway bill that modifies how Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds can be used in regions exceeding pollution standards. The purpose of the CMAQ Program is to fund transportation projects or programs that will contribute to the compliance or maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Without this amendment, the highway bill’s language could have restricted the states’ ability to identify the most effective emission reduction technologies and effectively limit their options to only diesel retrofits. 

“Communities across the country are striving to improve air quality and reduce congestion, and the CMAQ program is a critical tool to achieve our goals. The Ryan-Napolitano Amendment ensures that states will have the discretion they need to find innovative creative solutions to reduces emissions—including vehicles that run on clean natural gas, propane or electricity,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.

"Natural gas vehicles offer immediate benefits to improve air quality and the CMAQ program has been a valuable tool for communities across the country to achieve this goal. NGVAmerica applauds Rep. Ryan for his amendment which gives states new flexibility in utilizing CMAQ funds to select the best fuels and solutions to meet their individual challenges," said Matthew Godlewski, President of NGVAmerica.

“The CMAQ program, and the alternative fuel vehicles deployed through it, have been effective tools in improving air quality and reducing congestion.  EDTA supports Rep. Ryan’s amendment to ensure that State DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations continue to have the flexibility to employ the most effective alternative fuel solutions, including electric drive, to reduce P.M. and other pollutants,” said Genevieve Cullen, President of the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA).

"Propane autogas is an important part of helping Americans lessen pollution associated with motor fuels.  NPGA is thrilled that Rep. Ryan’s common sense proposal was adopted to broaden the technologies available to the marketplace to reduce pollution associated with Diesel engines," said Phil Squair, Senior Vice President, Public and Governmental Affairs of the National Propane Gas Association.