September 23, 2013. Canadian Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Bob Bailey introduced Bill 97 – The Natural Gas Superhighway Act, 2013. If passed, the Natural Gas Superhighway Act would help stimulate the increased use of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transportation fuel in medium and heavy duty vehicles on Ontario’s major transportation routes.
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, it 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.
“I see the increased use of natural gas as a catalyst for Ontario businesses that can help generate jobs and opportunity right here in our province,” said MPP Bailey after introducing Bill 97. “British Columbia and Quebec have already adopted legislation to promote natural gas as a transportation fuel. The US marketplace is miles ahead, they already have a network of natural gas fueling stations for heavy duty vehicles, built through private investment, stretching from coast to coast,” added MPP Bailey. “If Ontario doesn’t take steps soon to open its borders to the same type of innovation and investment, we risk being left behind and putting our businesses at a permanent disadvantage competitively.”
Bill 97 is now scheduled to be debated during its second reading on September 26th, 2013, at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.