Propane Tax Credits Offer Big Gains

The Propane Green Autogas Solution Act would extend propane tax incentives, boosting propane vehicle sales, creating jobs and generating billions of dollars more wealth, a new study says. (image: domesticfuel.com)

Extending propane tax credits for another five years would create up 42,000 US jobs and boost economic activity by up to $5.7 billion by 2016, a new study reveals.

Congress is currently considering the Propane Green Autogas Solution Act (Propane GAS Act) of 2011. It seeks to extend the current system of tax incentives for propane autogas, propane-powered vehicles and propane gas refueling infrastructure through to 2016. Tax credits introduced under a similar bill in 2005 have expired or are about to run out.

Autogas is already the third most popular vehicle fuel. About 15 million vehicles worldwide are powered by propane, which is cheaper than conventional vehicle fuels and much cleaner burning, with fewer harmful emissions.

And though countless commercial fleets here in the US are now saving money and helping the environment by switching to the domestically-produced energy source, ordinary American motorists have been slower to cotton on to the benefits of liquid petroleum gas.

Proponents of the Propane GAS Act believe it will provide the incentives for thousands more vehicles to make the switch by making propane an easy and cost effective choice.

A new study released by the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) suggests an extension of propane tax credits will have a significant impact on jobs and the economy.

If Congress approves the tax extensions, the study projects sales of propane-powered vehicles will jump to between 96,000 and 157,000 vehicle each year by 2016 – about five times the number that will be produced if the tax incentives are not extended.

The resulting growth in propane vehicle sales would generate increased economic activity peaking at between $4 billion and $5.7 billion a year by 2016. It would also create an extra 30,000 to 42,000 jobs according to the study, which was carried out by ICF International.

NPGA President and CEO Richard Roldan said the Propane GAS Act offered certainty to the marketplace “to further solidify propane autogas as a competitive alternative transportation fuel.”

“Propane autogas vehicles and infrastructure are available right now and public and private fleets are seeing significant long-term cost savings. While no single alternative fuel can completely displace conventional fuels in the short term, propane autogas provides our country with significant benefits and can have an immediate impact.”

NPGA Board chairman Carl Hughes said the US must break its dependence on foreign energy sources. Enacting the Propane GAS Act would help achieve that, he said.

“Propane autogas is clean, widely available, affordable, and domestically produced. It’s a practical choice for consumers today and an important tool for policymakers as our nation searches for options to improve our energy security.”