Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NJ lawmakers take alternative-fuel vehicles for a test run


If you're a green-minded businessperson thinking about leasing or purchasing alternative-fuel cars or trucks for your salespeople, technicians or other employees, where will you make that investment?


  • In all-electric vehicles? 
  • In vehicles running on compressed natural gas from the Marcellus Shale play?
  • Or (if you're really cutting edge) in vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells? 

The easy choice would be none of the above. If you go with a hybrid that runs on standard gasoline as well as electricity a big part of your re-fueling problems are solved.

But if you're a bit more adventurous and want to make a clean break from conventional fossil fuels then you face a number of big questions about where you will be able to refuel your vehicles in New Jersey and whether the state is likely to offer tax credits or other inducements that favor one technology over another.

The fact is that New Jersey, generally a front-runner in environmental change, is lagging when when it comes to developing policy that encourages government or public use of alternative fuel vehicles.

But change is inevitable and the issue will get the attention of lawmakers and the media tomorrow when the state Senate's Environment and Energy Committee meets to consider more than a dozen bills addressing alternative-fuel vehicles.

You can listen to the discussion, starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow here.  

Here's the legislative lineup:

A-3028 Greenwald, L.D. (D-6); Benson, D.R. (D-14); Spencer, L.G. (D-29)
Establishes Zero Emission Vehicle Commission and abolishes Low Emission Vehicle Review Commission; transfers certain responsibilities to Zero Emission Vehicle Commission.
Jun 25, 2012 - Passed by the Assembly (57-21)
Jun 28, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted: Senate Environment and Energy

A-566 Wagner, C. (D-38); Coughlin, C.J. (D-19); Fuentes, A. (D-5)
Provides corporation business tax credit and gross income tax credits for purchase and installation of certain electric vehicle charging stations.
Mar 15, 2012 - Passed by the Assembly (54-20)
May 3, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

A-1151 Lampitt, P.R. (D-6); Vainieri Huttle, V. (D-37); Chivukula, U.J. (D-17)

Authorizes State and local governments to enter into group purchasing agreement for advanced technology vehicles and alternative fueled vehicles.  Related Bill: S-371
Mar 15, 2012 - Passed by the Assembly (78-0)
May 3, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-340 Greenstein, L.R. (D-14); Beach, J. (D-6)

Provides corporation business tax credit and allows gross income tax deduction for purchase of electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.  Related Bill: A-1583
Jan 10, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 10, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-345 Greenstein, L.R. (D-14)

Provides corporation business tax credits and gross income tax credits for purchase of compressed natural gas vehiclesRelated Bill: A-1997
Jan 10, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 10, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-346 Greenstein, L.R. (D-14)

Provides corporation business tax credits and gross income tax credits for purchase of fuel cell vehicles.  Related Bill: A-1995
Jan 10, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 10, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-371 Beach, J. (D-6)
Authorizes State and local governments to enter into group purchasing agreement for alternative fueled vehiclesRelated Bill: A-1151
Jan 10, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 10, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-400 Allen, D.B. (R-7)
Requires BPU to conduct pilot program to allow free parking for alternative fuel vehicles and alternative technology vehicles.
Jan 10, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 10, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-595 Beck, J. (R-11); Gordon, R.M. (D-38)
Exempts from sales tax for two years certain highly fuel efficient vehicles and energy efficient appliances.
Jan 10, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 10, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Mar 21, 2012 - Posted: Sales and Use Tax Review Commission
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

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S-980
Greenstein, L.R. (D-14)

Encourages development of electric vehicle charging stations in transportation projects.
Jan 17, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 17, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-983 Greenstein, L.R. (D-14)
Establishes public-private pilot program for level 3 electric vehicle charging stations.
Related Bill: A-1996
Jan 17, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 17, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-984 Greenstein, L.R. (D-14)
Establishes public-private alternative fueling station pilot program and requires DOT to conduct study.  Related Bill: A-1994
Jan 17, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 17, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-1004 Greenstein, L.R. (D-14)
Directs installation of electric vehicle charging stations at service areas on State's toll roads.
Related Bill: A-822
Jan 17, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 17, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy

S-1186 Allen, D.B. (R-7)
Exempts certain materials and labor used to convert traditional motor vehicles into plug-in hybrid electric motor vehicles from sales and use tax.  Related Bill: A-2721
Jan 23, 2012 - Introduced in Senate
Jan 23, 2012 - Referred: Senate Environment and Energy
Apr 25, 2012 - Reviewed by the Sales and Use Tax Commission: Recommend to not enact
Sep 20, 2012 - Posted for discussion only: Senate Environment and Energy 

Have a position on which alternative-fuel horse the state should be backing, and how?  Tell us about it in the opinion box below. If one is not visible, activate it by clicking on the tiny 'comments' line. 

Related: 

Senate Committee takes up more than a dozen bills for alternative-fuel vehicles


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