California’s NGV Coalition To Ramp Up Regulatory Engagement For 2018
The California Natural Gas Vehicles Coalition (CNGVC)’s board of directors has set a course for 2018 that prioritizes intensive engagement with California’s regulatory process and includes sponsoring near-zero-emission vehicle legislation. Objectives are to extend NGV incentive funding, improve existing programs, and protect and encourage investments in natural gas fuel technologies.
“We will aggressively engage with regulatory agencies to ensure that incentives for NGVs continue to be part of the state’s clean transportation plans and to work toward improving existing low-carbon–fuels programs,” said Coalition President Thomas Lawson.
The board decided to concentrate on regulatory work after CARB and the CEC declined to act on several Coalition recommendations for existing programs, most recently the 2017–18 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program.
The Coalition will concentrate its efforts on three regulatory issues in 2018. It will work to secure incentive funding through the CEC and CARB, from the cap-and-trade program, and from other sources. It will continue to advocate for low-NOx natural gas buses as an option for meeting innovative clean transit regulations. And it will defend the LCFS and fight proposed changes that would be detrimental to the NGV industry.
Board members also are concerned about agency bias against natural gas transportation and will seek to right misconceptions and level the playing field; ultimately, the goal is to make sure that NGVs are equally eligible for all low carbon transportation funding opportunities.
As the two-year legislative session heads into its second half, the Coalition plans to sponsor two bills and closely monitor several others:
The Coalition will support a revised, fuel-neutral version of SB 53, which allows a heavy-duty alternative-fuel truck to exceed state weight limits, accommodating a heavy natural gas tank and fuel system.
The board approved sponsoring a bill mandating that from Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2025, near-zero-emission trucks must constitute at least 30 percent of the state fleet’s heavy-duty truck purchases, and starting in 2025, zero-emission trucks must account for at least 15 percent of state fleet purchases. This bill reduces heavy-duty vehicle emissions much sooner than last year’s AB 739.
The Coalition also plans to monitor additional legislation that affects the NGV industry, including proposals to establish an RNG standard, authorize a gas corporation to procure zero-carbon and low-carbon hydrogen fuels, and move up target dates in the California 100 percent Renewables Portfolio Standard.
“By focusing on regulations as well as legislation in 2018, we can make sure that agencies, local air districts, and fleets all see a return on their investments in near-zero natural gas technologies,” said Lawson, noting that policies must remain in place to support the millions of dollars that have been invested in NGVs and natural gas infrastructure.