A bill in the Nebraska legislature would create a rebate program for owners of alternative fuel vehicles. L.B.581, introduced by state Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha, advanced from general file on May 26.
According to the Unicameral Update, the official news source produced by the legislature's Unicameral Information Office, L.B.581 would allow the owner of a qualifying vehicle to apply for a rebate as long as the applicant has not claimed another rebate or incentive for the same vehicle.
The bill defines a qualified clean-burning fuel as hydrogen fuel cells, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas.
Under the program, an applicant who has conversion equipment installed on a vehicle could receive the lesser amount of either $4,500 or 50% of the cost of conversion.
Furthermore, a rebate of $2,500 or 50% of the cost of conversion also would be available for property that is directly related to the compression and delivery of natural gas from a private home or residence, for noncommercial purposes, into a fuel tank of a motor vehicle propelled by natural gas.
According to the Unicameral Update, Nordquist noted that many other states offer some sort of incentives for alternative fuel vehicle conversions.
“Since 2008, oil and natural gas production has increased each year, while imports of foreign oil have decreased,” said Nordquist. “This would create a rebate program to promote conversion of vehicles to qualifying clean-burning fuels, which offer significant benefits over gasoline.”
State Sen. John McCollister of Omaha opposed the bill.
“There are just so few fueling stations currently. Until there is more opportunity to fill up a vehicle and a greater number of stations, I really doubt this will have much effect,” he said. “Let the state stay away from these credits and let the market decide whether or not this is the way to go.”
State Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson introduced an amendment, adopted 30-0, which would add gasoline containing at least 15% ethanol as a qualified clean-burning motor vehicle fuel. It also would allocate $500,000 to fund rebates under the program.
Following the adoption of a technical amendment, senators advanced the bill to select file on a 27-13 vote, according to the Unicameral Update.