Florida legislature approves incentives for natural gas vehicles

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Updated May 3, 2013

Natural gas adoption in Florida got a shot in the arm with the passage by the Florida House of  HB 579 to promote the use of natural gas fuels. The legislation encourages commercial fleet owners to invest in new natural gas vehicles through grants administered by the Office of Energy at the Florida Department of Agriculture.

“Florida now leads the nation in our crucial drive toward energy independence,” said  Eric Criss, Chairman of the Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition. “This is an important step forward in America’s evolving national security policy and in protecting our environment.

In February, the coalition announced the results of a public opinion survey that found that 72 percent of Floridians supported a program to help convert commercial fleet vehicles from traditional fuels to American natural gas, decreasing U.S. reliance on imported oil, creating jobs and improving air quality. 96 percent of respondents believe it is important to promote energy independence in the United States; 93 percent believe it is important to create new, well paying jobs; and 95 percent believe it is important to protect Florida’s environment.

A study by Fishkind and Associates published by FNGVC earlier this year reported that a natural gas vehicle incentive program could create over 10,000 new jobs, more than $300 million in wages and over $1 billion in economic impact. “Governor Rick Scott has a laser focus on jobs and we hope that he will sign this legislation as soon as possible, creating new employment opportunities for Floridians,” said Criss.