Natural Gas Superhighway Act, 2013, Receives Unanimous Support at Second Reading
Natural Gas Superhighway Act Receives Unanimous Support; MPP Bailey Drives Initiative for a Cleaner, More Affordable Transportation Fuel
Queen’s Park– On September 26th, Bill 97 – Natural Gas Superhighway Act, 2013, presented by Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey, received unanimous support from MPPs at Queen’s Park following second reading debate. The intent of the Natural Gas Superhighway Act is to stimulate the increased use of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transportation fuel for medium and heavy duty vehicles on Ontario’s major transportation routes.
“I am very encouraged by today’s vote of support; natural gas transportation fuels represent a real opportunity for Ontario,” said MPP Bailey following the debate. “LNG and CNG produce significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and they are about 30% cheaper than traditional medium and heavy duty vehicle fuels,” added MPP Bailey. “I see the increased use of LNG and CNG as a catalyst for Ontario businesses that can help generate jobs, investment, and opportunity right here in our province.”
Specifically, the Natural Gas Superhighway Act, 2013, calls upon the Government of Ontario to make regulations prescribing higher weight limits for vehicles that use LNG as a transportation fuel in order to accommodate the increased weight of their specialized engines. Moreover, the Natural Gas Superhighway Act, 2013 also proposes to provide for a non-refundable tax credit (half of the Ontario portion of the HST; 4%)for seven years to taxpayers who purchase medium or heavy-duty vehicles (trucks, ships or trains) that use LNG or CNG as fuel.
As a transportation fuel, natural gas generates between 20-30% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional fuel sources. In addition, with the ongoing development of North America’s vast natural gas deposits this abundant resource costs about 30% less than fuels imported from offshore, creating a potential cost savings for Ontario businesses and helping them be more competitive in today’s global marketplace.
British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec have already taken government action to increase the use of natural gas by the transportation sectors in their province. These initiatives have helped to drive private investment to the industry in those regions. All tolled private firms have already invested some $350 million into these jurisdictions to take advantage of the opportunities that natural gas creates for business.
During Question Period, MPP Bailey challenged the government to support the Natural Gas Superhighway Act, “Minister, your government talks a lot about doing what is right for the environment, but the Natural Gas Superhighway Act is where the rubber meets the road. Will you commit today to paving the way forward for the Natural Gas Superhighway Act and cleaner air in Ontario?”
Prior to a final vote by legislators, The Natural Gas Superhighway Act will go before a legislative committee at Queen’s Park who will hear presentations from industry stakeholders.
For more information about the Natural Gas Superhighway Act, 2013, or to read the transcript of second reading debate please visit www.bobbaileympp.com .
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