Statement from T. Boone Pickens on Legislation Filed in Texas to Move Government Vehicles to Natural Gas
March 12, 2015

The bill that State Senator Carlos Uresti and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced today will provide a roadmap – literally – for other states to follow to transition their fleet vehicles from imported gasoline and diesel to cleaner, cheaper domestic alternatives, including natural gas.

Getting off foreign oil and utilizing American resources is crucial to the Texas oil and gas industry because it keeps taxpayer dollars from going to OPEC, and invests them in America instead. The oil and gas industry pays $4 billion in property taxes to the State of Texas and it makes sense to help keep that industry healthy by utilizing the resources it generates.

Even with oil prices as low as they are now, fueling with domestic alternatives is still much cheaper. Converting from diesel to alternatives like natural gas is a fiscally responsible move that will save the State and local governments millions on fuel costs. That taxpayers savings represents another big investment in the Texas economy. This is exactly the kind of leadership we need on energy. Competition has always been the Spirit of Texas – we pick the best value at the best price for most things, and it’s only right we do the same with fuel. OPEC oil just can’t compete with American energy.

T. Boone Pickens is the architect of the Pickens Plan that focuses on initiatives that enhance U.S. energy security by promoting policies that reduce dependence on OPEC oil. You may follow Boone on Twitter, @BoonePickens.

Sen. Uresti announces major alternative fuels initiative
March 12, 2015
Contact: Jerry Needham, (512) 463-0119

Senator Carlos Uresti, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Railroad Commissioner David Porter and other legislative, agency, and industry leaders today announced the filing of Senate Bill 12 to provide financial incentives for state agencies, counties and cities to purchase vehicles that use less-polluting alternative fuels.

“Senate Bill 12 will jumpstart the use of natural gas and other alternative fuels here in Texas,” Uresti said. “We have an abundant supply of natural gas, and a portion of that supply is flared into the air every day due to a lack of demand. We can reduce flaring and put that gas to use—starting with our state fleet.”

“Senate Bill 12 will put Texas in the lead for natural gas vehicles in state agencies and local governments,” said Patrick. “It’s cheap, it’s clean, it’s here in Texas and will save taxpayers millions of dollars in fuel costs.”

The bill will allow agencies or entities that operate more than 15 vehicles to apply for grants to convert or replace vehicles to models that use compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, or liquefied petroleum gas.

“I commend Lt. Gov. Patrick and Sen. Uresti for their leadership in expanding Texas’s transportation fuel markets and for their efforts to make Texas the national leader for natural gas vehicles,” said Porter, who launched his statewide Natural Gas Initiative in 2013. “By transitioning state government vehicles to this domestic fuel, we can set an example for the rest of the state and nation, and inject some serious fuel competition into the transportation sector.”

Funding for the program will come from fees already collected from motorists and industry for the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), which was established by the legislature in 2001 and currently contains more than $800 million. The bill allows up to 3 percent of the TERP fund balance to be used each year to finance the new governmental alternative fuel fleet program. SB 12 will also expand a program that provides state grants to build alternative fueling stations.

“Expanding the market for Texas natural gas and alternative fuels will put more Texans to work. It’s past time to put this funding to good use” Uresti said.

Sen. Uresti represents Senate District 19, which covers more than 35,000 square miles and contains all or part of 17 counties, two international ports of entry, ten state parks, 61 school districts, 2700 miles of highways, and more than 23,000 producing oil and gas wells. The district is larger than 12 states and 82 Nations, and contains over half of the Texas-Mexico border. Sen. Uresti is proud to serve on the Finance, Natural Resources & Economic Development, Health & Human Services, and Administration Committees.