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Marcellus Works Package Moving Through the House

The “Marcellus Works” package of legislation is designed to “secure Pennsylvania’s energy future and create thousands of new jobs by fostering the transition to natural gas as a primary fuel for consumer and commercial vehicles – a fuel that is plentiful in Pennsylvania’s large Marcellus Shale formation,” according to Rep. Stanley Saylor (R-York) and members of the House Republican caucus. 

The package, HB 301-309, has been steadily making its way through the House. To date, four bills in the nine-bill package have been passed. Several more have moved out of committee and are expected to be voted upon by the House in the coming weeks.

The proposal calls for the investment of $55 million to $60 million in tax credits and from taxes on the industry into programs for job creation and conversion of fleets and transit agencies to compressed natural gas vehicles.

The state Senate is expected to wait for the House to complete its work on the overall package before taking up the individual pieces of legislation. And depending on the timelines, several of the incentives could conceivably become part of an overall budget agreement in late June. 

Among the bills:
• House Bill 301 – Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) – Creates tax credits for private fleet vehicles in order to lessen incremental cost of natural gas vehicles. Passed House Y:110/N:77.
• House Bill 302 – Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams) – Creates a grant program available to smaller mass transit agencies to cover the incremental cost of natural gas buses. Set on House calendar.
• House Bill 303 – Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks) – Creates a revolving loan program available to large mass transit agencies to cover the incremental cost of natural gas buses. Set on House calendar.
• House Bill 304 – Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver) – Requires 25 percent of all new bus purchases made by large mass transit agencies (SEPTA, PAT, Lehigh) in 2012-16 run on natural gas; 50 percent in 2017-2021; 75 percent in 2021-2026; and 100 percent in 2027. Set on House tabled calendar.
• House Bill 305 – Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster) – Creates a natural gas corridor tax credit to encourage the construction of natural gas fueling stations along travel corridors (I-76, I-78, I-79, I-80, I-81, and I-83). Passed House Y: 128/N: 58.
• House Bill 306 – Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford) – dedicates the Alternative Fuel Incentive Fund to provide grants to municipalities, schools, and the private sector for the purchase of natural gas vehicles. Set on House calendar.
• House Bill 307 – Rep. Eli Evankovich (R-Westmoreland/Armstrong) – Repeals California Air Resources Board (CARB) section 2030 to eliminate costly duplication of EPA and CARB certifications for natural gas vehicles. Passed House Y:140/N:57.
• House Bill 308 – Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) – Utilizes a portion of the Clean Air Fund to be utilized for the provision of grants for natural gas vehicles. Set on House calendar.
• House Bill 309 – Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) – Establishes a 3-year program, the Natural Gas Vehicle Tax Credit, to provide incentives for Pennsylvania businesses to purchase heavy- duty natural gas vehicles. Passed House Y: 107/N: 77.