The Wyoming State Legislature passed bills late last week that will help drive the state's usage of compressed natural gas (CNG) in transportation applications. Reports suggest, however, that the legislation that ultimately found its way to law-makers was less aggressive than originally written.
Senate bills 23 and 52 – covering loans for natural gas refueling infrastructure and requirements for state fleets to purchase natural gas vehicles (NGVs), respectively – ‘aren't exactly what industry advocates asked for, but still represent a move toward compressed natural gas,’ according to the Casper Star-Tribune.
SF0023 was amended to cap loan amounts at $1 million or 75% of the total project cost, whichever is less. The original bill capped the amount at $1 million. With the revision, a CNG station that costs $995,000, for instance, will be eligible for a loan totaling no more than $750,000. In turn, station owners will need find other sources of financing to make up for the shortfall.
SF0052 originally required various state entities – such as the University of Wyoming, state agencies and some school districts – to replace at least 50% of their retiring vehicle assets with NGVs. Amendments to the original bill added exceptions to this rule, including language that allows these organizations to opt out of the requirement if sufficient CNG refueling is not located within ‘the municipality or locality in which the motor vehicle will be stationed.’