Legislature approves natural gas vehicle incentives
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 2, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Florida
House passed HB 579 to promote the use of natural gas fuels in Florida. Eric
Criss, Chairman of the Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (FNGVC)
congratulated the legislature on its action: "Florida now leads the nation in
our crucial drive toward energy independence. This is an important step
forward in America's evolving national security policy and in protecting our
environment. I commend Senator Wilton Simpson, Representative Lake Ray and
their colleagues on both sides of the aisle for this important
On Tuesday, HB 579 passed the Florida Senate 39-0 and was immediately sent to
the Florida House. That chamber took up the bill on Thursday, passing it
116-2. 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. The immense popularity of American
natural gas among Floridians contributed to the bill's success.
In February, the coalition announced the results of a public opinion survey
conducted by TelOpinion Research February 7 – 12, 2013. The survey found that
72% 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. The survey
also found that 96% of respondents believe it is important to promote energy
independence in the United States; 93% believe it is important to create new,
well paying jobs; and 95% believe it is important to protect Florida's
In 2013, the Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition published an updated study
by Fishkind and Associates indicating 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.
The FNGVC consists of a diverse group of Florida employers including beer
distributors such as Champion Brands, waste-hauling companies such as Waste
Management, and package delivery companies such as United Parcel Service
(UPS). For a complete list of members click here.
SOURCE Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition
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