With such a dismal record on enviromental issues following the Republican party, it is interesting to see a conservative working in this fashion:
Idaho Republican Congressman Mike Simpson is a cosponsor of H.R. 1835, the New Alterative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions, or NAT GAS, Act of 2009. H.R. 1835 focuses on increasing the availability of natural gas-fueled vehicles in the United States.
Of course, in one of his talking points, Simpson spoke "in code" to his conservative base:
"I have always been a strong proponent of using clean alternative fuels, including natural gas, as a part of any comprehensive plan to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil," Simpson said. "H.R. 1835 gives us the tools to move our transportation system away from the dangerous dependence on foreign oil and onto cleaner, domestically-produced energy sources."
Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) technology is readily available in other areas of the world, and NGVs are manufactured by all domestic auto manufacturers for sale overseas. Natural gas is the only viable clean alternative energy source for heavy trucks. Yet the U.S. market for these vehicles is extremely limited.
H.R. 1835 includes a number of tax incentives focused on encouraging the production and purchase of natural gas-fueled vehicles and provides grants for the development of light and heavy-duty natural gas vehicles and engines.
"The U.S. has an abundant supply of natural gas," said Simpson. "While we currently import nearly 70% of our oil, most of which is used for transportation, 98% of our natural gas comes from domestic sources. I strongly believe that H.R. 1835 is an important step in achieving energy independence for our nation."
H.R. 1835 was originally introduced by Representative Dan Boren (D-OK) and has 116 cosponsors.
Let's hope that further clean energy actions and initiatives flow from the Simpson camp and others in the GOP.