At its annual meeting Wednesday in Philadelphia, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) voted against the adoption of a national diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) standard for natural gas as a transportation fuel.
The decision comes after the NCWM previously rejected the DGE proposal last July in Detroit. This year, NGVAmerica and natural gas supporters redoubled their efforts and rallied behind the DGE measure before the NCWM's annual meeting.
In a press release, NGVAmerica says it and industry allies are disappointed by the NCWM's latest decision. Were the proposal to pass, the group says, the DGE standard would have created greater uniformity and consistency for the natural gas vehicle industry.
“Unfortunately, transparency, uniformity and consistency have fallen victim to a dysfunctional voting process at the NCWM,” comments NGVAmerica President Matthew Godlewski. “However, state legislators understand the importance of this issue, and we will continue this effort state-by-state if that's what it takes to see this issue through.”
Although NGVAmerica's push for the national DGE standard was focused mainly on liquefied natural gas (LNG), the standard also would have applied to the sale of compressed natural gas (CNG) in certain situations.
The group says establishing a standard for dispensing both LNG and CNG in DGE units is important for the continued use of the alternative fuel in trucking and other applications that traditionally use diesel fuel.
In 1994, the NCWM adopted standards requiring that CNG be sold in gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE). NGVAmerica says that standard has benefited consumers and industry alike because it provides a common unit for comparing the cost of CNG and gasoline.
Under the proposal, LNG would have only been sold in DGE units, as LNG is expected to be used exclusively as a heavy-duty vehicle fuel. CNG, meanwhile, would have been dispensed in GGE units at retail outlets serving the general public and sold in DGE units on pumps selling to trucks and heavy-duty vehicles.
Currently, 26 states use the DGE unit for taxation of LNG, and 10 states have enacted legislation or approved regulations recognizing the DGE as a standard for dispensing natural gas.
NGVAmerica vows it will continue to work with its industry advocates and allies at the state level until the DGE standard is a nationally recognized and accepted unit of sale.