Task force: Offer tax credits, convert fleets to natural gas - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Task force: Offer tax credits, convert fleets to natural gas

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: All Northbound lanes open on I-77 at East River Mountain Tunnel

    UPDATE: All Northbound lanes open on I-77 at East River Mountain Tunnel

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:42 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:42:00 GMT
    All northbound lanes are back open after a tractor trailer that caught fire inside the East River Mountain Tunnel on Friday. It happened in the northbound lanes of the tunnel that divides Mercer and Bland around 2:00 Friday afternoon.
    All northbound lanes are back open after a tractor trailer that caught fire inside the East River Mountain Tunnel on Friday. It happened in the northbound lanes of the tunnel that divides Mercer and Bland around 2:00 Friday afternoon.
  • Sistersville Woman Crowned Mrs. West Virginia, Will Compete for National Title

    Sistersville Woman Crowned Mrs. West Virginia, Will Compete for National Title

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 4:17 AM EDT2014-07-15 08:17:38 GMT
    A Sistersville mother, wife, and soon-to-be teacher, holds another very impressive title as she gets ready to take on the competition on a national stage.Mrs. West Virginia, Melissa Smith, will compete for the title of "Mrs.United States," in September. Smith travels throughout the state right now helping to push her platform. "Right now, I'm very focused on improving literacy education. I'm going to be an elementary school teacher and I have been traveling throughout West Virginia reading to...
    A Sistersville mother, wife, and soon-to-be teacher, holds another very impressive title as she gets ready to take on the competition on a national stage.Mrs. West Virginia, Melissa Smith, will compete for the title of "Mrs.United States," in September. Smith travels throughout the state right now helping to push her platform. "Right now, I'm very focused on improving literacy education. I'm going to be an elementary school teacher and I have been traveling throughout West Virginia reading to...
  • Federal judge in Martinsburg, West Virginia, sends 10 to prison for violating probation

    Federal judge in Martinsburg, West Virginia, sends 10 to prison for violating probation

    Sunday, July 6 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-07-06 15:00:12 GMT
    Nine Martinsburg, West Virginia, residents and another from Keyser were sentenced to federal prison for breaking the law while they were on supervised release or probation.
    Nine Martinsburg, West Virginia, residents and another from Keyser were sentenced to federal prison for breaking the law while they were on supervised release or probation.

Increasing tax credits and transitioning the state vehicles to use natural gas and propane are among recommendations issued Feb. 21 by the Governor's Natural Gas Vehicle Task Force.

"We have the opportunity to reinvest in our own economy, provide drivers with lower costs at the pump as well as support the establishment of more good-paying jobs for West Virginians — all by using a clean burning energy source harvested right here at home," said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on receiving the report.

Tomblin established the 21-member board of public and private industry experts in June 2012 to come up with recommendations for increasing the use of the state's growing natural gas production as a transportation fuel.

The task force identified a chicken-and-egg problem inherent in transitioning to any new fuel.

"Infrastructure developers want to see demand by numerous vehicles needing the fuel, but the would-be purchasers of the vehicles require the infrastructure in place first," the report reads.

Other challenges, are identified as well, including the need to tax natural gas as a motor fuel in the same way that gasoline is taxed in order to maintain the state Department of Transportation road fund.

Among the task force's 16 recommendations:

  • Priority consideration for infrastructure development should be in counties with greatest vehicle fleet concentrations: Berkeley, Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Logan, Marion, Mercer, Monongalia, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh, Wayne and Wood counties.
  • Private retailers can afford to develop infrastructure where there are high populations, willing partners requiring fuel, access to natural gas and level sites with constant flows of traffic.
  • To convert state fleets, state agencies should be directed to assess opportunities to transition segments of their fleets to natural gas vehicles and develop eight-year implementation plans. A target rate of conversion could be one quarter of the state's fleet, or nearly 2,000 vehicles, within four years.
  • The state should add bi-fuel vehicles to the fleet to balance supply and demand during the transition.
  • The Department of Education's definition of alternative fuels for school buses should add propane and compressed natural gas.
  • The community and technical college system can help by preparing natural gas vehicle-trained technicians.
  • Tax incentives on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas or propane vehicles should be continued for private sector purchases.
  • A commercial alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure tax credit of 20 percent up to $400,000 should be offered.
  • Excise taxes on natural gas used in motor vehicles should be imposed on the basis of energy content, or gasoline gallon equivalents, to help maintain the road fund.

The task force also recommended that a transition team be formed to monitor technology and economic issues and make further recommendations.