NATGAS Act: Gone But Not Forgotten

Sens. Burr and Menendez Seek Changes to Resuscitate NAT GAS Act

Sen. Richard Burr (R – N.C.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D – N.J.) said Tuesday the bipartisan duo will retool the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (S.1863 / H.R.1380), a.k.a. the NAT GAS Act, in an attempt to garner greater congressional support.

Burr said changes to the bill could include shortening the period through which the tax credits will be available—a move that would only lessen the attending violation of free market principles of the original, while Menendez raised the possibility of narrowing the types of vehicles eligible for the credit—a change likely to benefit corporate fleet owners over average individuals. According to sources on Capitol Hill, these changes to the T. Boone Pickens-backed bill are just a sample of proposed amendments aimed at trimming the price tag, which doubtless contributed to the Senate’s March 13 rejection of the bill as an amendment to highway legislation, as reported by yours truly in Human Events.

Whether these changes will help ease passage of the controversial measure only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the NAT GAS Act will return to the congressional spotlight as a stronger, more alluring piece of legislation that nonetheless rests on the same flawed foundation as the original proposition — i.e. spending money we don’t have to subsidize the purchase of products we don’t make for the profit of a select few who do not have America’s best interests at heart.