‘Marcellus Works’ For Jobs, and Clean, Affordable Energy

HARRISBURG – House Majority Whip Stan Saylor (R-York) and members of the House Republican Caucus at a Capitol press conference today unveiled a package of legislation called “Marcellus Works,” which 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.”

Watch the entire press conference here.

“We implemented Act 13 in February 2012 to govern and generate fees for the first time ever on the extraction of natural gas from Pennsylvania that has been taking place for more than a decade,” Saylor said.  “In that short time, Act 13 has created 88,000 good-paying jobs and generated more than $200 million for roads, environmental programs and public safety. Another $260 million in impact fees will be distributed in July. But, extracting the natural gas represents only half of the job-creating potential.  Using this clean-burning and domestic resource will unlock the key to the other half.  That is where our plan takes shape.”

The “Marcellus Works” plan includes:

  • House Bill 301 Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York)- Creates a tax credit for private fleet vehicles in order to lessen the incremental cost of natural gas vehicles.
  • House Bill 302 – Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams)- Establishes the Keystone Transit grant program available to small- and medium-sized mass transit agencies to cover the incremental cost of transitioning to natural gas buses.
  • 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.
  • House Bill 304 – Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver)- Requires PennDOT to conduct a feasibility study regarding the purchase of natural gas-powered buses for large mass transit agencies in Pennsylvania.
  • House Bill 305 – Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster)- Creates a natural gas corridor tax credit which incentivizes the construction of natural gas fueling stations along an eligible corridor.
  • House Bill 306 – Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford)-  Amends the Alternative Fuels Incentive Act (Act 178 of 2004) to establish the Keystone Fuels Incentive Fund to provide grants to municipalities, schools and the private sector for the purchase of natural gas vehicles.
  • House Bill 307 – Rep. Eli Evankovich (R-Westmoreland/Armstrong)- Repeals CARB section 2030 in order to eliminate the costly duplicity of both EPA and CARB certifications for natural gas vehicles.
  • House Bill 308 – Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York)- Establishes the Keystone Vehicle Program to fund grants for business of up to percent, or not more than $50,000, of the incremental cost to purchase new natural gas motor vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 33,000 pounds.
  • House Bill 309 – Rep. Seth Grove (R-York)- Establishes a three-year program, the Natural Gas Vehicle Tax Credit, to provide incentives for Pennsylvania businesses to purchase heavy-duty natural gas vehicles.

Rep. Seth Grove said the sooner we get more clean-fuel vehicles on our roads, the better it will be for our economy, and our environment.

“The Marcellus Works legislative package will allow the Commonwealth to capitalize on a plentiful, affordable and more environmentally friendly source of energy at a time when we are still working our way out of a recession,” Grove said.  “The end goal of this legislation is to empower the private sector to create more jobs and to reduce our dependence on foreign energy, and I applaud Majority Whip Stan Saylor for his leadership on this issue.  My House Bill 309 would help to put more natural gas vehicles on the road, which have proven to be more energy efficient while putting out less harmful emissions.”

State Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster), sponsor of House Bill 305, said that helping to establish a network of natural gas fueling stations will give businesses and consumers an option to high-priced foreign fuels.

“Now widely available are natural gas tractor-trailer rigs and natural gas pickups and utility vehicles that allow businesses to significantly reduce their travel and transportation costs while helping clean our environment,” said Denlinger.  “House Bill 305 provides incentives to incubate, but not sustain, the creation of a natural gas vehicle filling station network for businesses that can also ultimately be used by consumers as natural gas becomes a mainstream vehicle fuel.”

Rep. Dan Moul said getting Pennsylvania’s mass transit fleets to change over to natural gas will lower operations costs, enabling transit agencies to reduce fares, or improve route services.

“It makes both economic and environmental sense for our mass transit buses and fleet vehicles to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG),” said Moul.  “As a strong proponent of the wider use of this abundant, cleaner-burning and less expensive fuel, I am sponsoring legislation that would provide grants to smaller mass transit agencies, which will aid them in converting their fleets to CNG.  The switch would save Pennsylvania taxpayers millions of dollars annually in mass transit funding.”

Rep. Eli Evankovich said affordable energy and energy independence is the key to economic growth in today’s global economy.

“This plan is truly a win-win for everyone and represents an opportunity for all Pennsylvanians to take the lead on clean energy that is abundant and under our feet,” said Evankovich. “We have a wonderful opportunity to grow large and small businesses today and provide the next generation with a path to economic prosperity.”

Rep. Tina Pickett agreed.

“The abundance of natural gas in our state has created a wealth of opportunities for many of our communities, and can also serve as a catalyst in transitioning from traditional gasoline vehicles to cleaner burning natural gas engines,” Pickett said. “The grant program in my legislation will make it more affordable for schools, municipalities and the private sector to purchase these vehicles. This legislative package, as a whole, seeks to put Pennsylvania where it belongs in terms of energy leadership in the United States, and I’m pleased it is advancing through the House.”

Rep. Kathy Watson noted that Marcellus Works will pay for itself many times over, both environmentally and economically.

 “This package is all about taking an abundant resource within our state and using it to both enhance our economy and improve our environment and the health of our residents,” Watson said. “The use of clean natural gas significantly reduces harmful emissions, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and carcinogens. By encouraging our mass transit agencies to transition to cleaner, natural gas vehicles, Pennsylvania will be on the cutting edge of establishing the infrastructure and will serve as a model for other states around the nation.”

Rep. Jim Marshall said Beaver County is benefitting greatly from natural gas exploration, and the rest of Pennsylvania can and should reap the economic benefit as well.

“I value natural gas as a clean domestic fuel that will decrease our dependency on foreign fuel.  Pennsylvania has become a gas exporter due to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.”  “This package of legislation will enable our Commonwealth to increase our energy independence.”

For more information on the “Marcellus Works” plan visit MarcellusWorks.net.

House Majority Whip Stan Saylor
94th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner
www.RepSaylor.com / Facebook.com/RepSaylor
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