As transportation and logistics companies turn towards a clean, affordable and reliable fuel option – natural gas – legislation will need to keep in lockstep. That’s why MPP Bob Bailey of Sarnia-Lambton has introduced Bill 97: the Natural Gas Superhighway Act.
The legislation would not only create higher weight limits for medium and heavy-duty vehicles using liquefied natural gas (LNG) because of their heavier specialized engines, it would also include a tax credit for those purchasing such vehicles.
Natural gas’ benefits to the trucking industry in Ontario would be manifold – a 20 to 30 per cent savings in fuel costs, directly benefitting shipping and filtering down to lower costs for manufacturers and consumers. It would ease our reliance on imported foreign oil. And it would produce a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel.
The long-term trend of lower natural gas prices suggests that natural gas is making a lot of sense to transportation companies, including shipping and the rails. That’s why Shell’s Corunna refinery in Sarnia is going forward with a small LNG unit, to provide fuel for marine, rail and truck customers. In fact, the Interlake Steamship Company has already signed on.
Often a simple, legislated weight-requirement can have a big impact. If Bill 97 were to pass (similar legislation has already passed in Quebec and British Columbia) it would create an environment more conducive to natural gas use.
Says Bailey: “Right now (truckers using natural gas) have to fill up in Quebec and try to get across Ontario and get into Michigan before you can fill up again… you need to build filling stations (here in Ontario).”
If you were an MPP at Queen’s Park, how would you vote on the issue? Let us know in the comments section provided below.