Natural Gas – Conversions, Vehicles and Technology

Senators Push For Fair Taxing of LNG

February 06, 2015

Sens. Michael Bennet D-Colo. (left) and Richard Burr R-N.C. Offical Senate photos
Sens. Michael Bennet D-Colo. (left) and Richard Burr R-N.C. Offical Senate photos

Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) have reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) to better compete with diesel with taxation based on energy output rather than per gallon.

Under the current federal highway excise tax, LNG is taxed by the gallon but because of its lower energy output, vehicles require more LNG to produce the same energy as diesel fuel. This makes LNG cost-prohibitive compared with diesel, the senators argue, and creates a built-in disincentive for fleets to use LNG.

"This bill would allow LNG and diesel to compete more fairly in the market while offering a cleaner fuel source to help keep our air clean," said Bennet.

Currently, LNG is cheaper at the pump than diesel but the excise tax rate for both LNG and diesel fuel is set at 24.3 cents per gallon. It takes about 1.7 gallons of LNG to equal the energy in a gallon of diesel fuel. This effectively results in LNG being taxed at 170% the rate of diesel fuel on an equivalent energy basis, according to the bill.

"This is a no-brainer," said Burr. "Our bill would eliminate a current tax disincentive for using LNG, a fuel that is not only environmentally cleaner but would also reduce our dependence on foreign oil."


  1. 1. GREGORY FOREMAN [ February 07, 2015 @ 04:10PM ]

    I find it somewhat incredible that at this time in history, when the government is scratching and scraping like “chickens in heat” to salvage the financially floundering Interstate Trust Fund, that these two “Bozo’s” are concerned with equalizing the excise tax on CNG. If giving companies untold millions of dollars in tax breaks, tax credits, not mention government grants is not enough to “entice”-though I prefer the word “pimp out”-companies to convert to CNG usage, perhaps there is more to the subject of inequality than just the taxing issue. Of course, don’t look to me for impartiality.
    I have long held and continue to hold the belief that natural gas conversion for trucking application is the 21st century equivalent of the 19th century snake oil sale. Were CNG/LNG advocates ever to mature beyond the analysis of the cost per gallon, which I have yet seen calculated understandably and satisfactorily, they would discover the overall cost make up simply cannot justify a massive conversion from diesel to CNG/LNG power assets.


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