WHAT IS THE New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011

The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011 was a bipartisan proposal that amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage more domestic production, alternative energy investments and corresponding job creation. It also became known as the NATGAS Act.

BREAKING DOWN THE New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011

The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011's provisions included the following:

  • Created an excise tax credit through 2016 for alternative fuels involving compressed or liquefied natural gas.
  • Created an income tax credit through 2016 for vehicles powered by compressed or liquefied natural gas.
  • Changed the tax credit percentage for vehicles fueled by natural gas or liquefied natural gas.
  • Allowed a new tax credit for the production of certain vehicles.
  • Extended tax credits through 2016 for property used in refueling vehicles fueled by compressed or liquefied natural gas.

The act provided tax credits to encourage investments in compressed, natural and liquefied natural gas, and it required the U.S. Secretary of Energy to provide funding to support alternative energy. In addition, the act authorized the Secretary of Energy to make grants to manufacturers of light and heavy-duty natural gas vehicles to develop reduced-emission engines, improve performance and efficiency, and lower costs.

The act also indicated that Congress preferred the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) streamline the process for certification of natural gas vehicle retrofit kits to promote energy security and incentivize manufacturers who produce natural gas powered vehicles. In addition, the act amended the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to allocate funds for vehicles that are repowered or converted to operate on an alternative fuel.

The Pickens Plan

A large bipartisan coalition introduced the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011, many of whom were backers of the Pickens Plan. Proffered by energy hedge funder and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens, there were several main components to the Pickens Plan:

  • Use the country’s abundant natural gas to replace imported oil as a principal transportation fuel for fleets and heavy-duty trucks.
  • Build a 21st century electrical transmission grid.
  • Develop a vast supply of renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power.
  • Increase energy efficiency in home and commercial buildings with technology improvements and upgrading insulation.

Broadly, the goal of the Pickens Plan was to raise awareness about which alternative energy resources the U.S. could use and to take a long-term view of fuel’s role in the nation's economy and our daily lives.