Casey Pushes Legislation to Create Jobs and Foster Energy Independence Through Natural Gas

After Meeting with Natural Gas Leaders in Pittston, Casey Urges Congress to Pass His Legislation to Boost Industry

Marcellus Shale Jobs Have Increased 400% Since 2009 – Casey Legislation Will Promote Further Growth

Casey: If Done Right, Natural Gas Holds Great Economic Benefits for Region

PITTSTON, PA - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today met with representatives from Pennsylvania’s natural gas and ancillary industries amid rising gasoline prices and a continued need to spur job creation in Pennsylvania. After meeting with the industry leaders, Senator Casey called on Congress to pass his legislation to boost natural gas as a vehicle fuel and give states more flexibility in using federal dollars to advance natural gas usage and create jobs.

“Natural gas development, if done right, can continue to create jobs in Pennsylvania, strengthen our economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Senator Casey. “I was pleased to hear today from leaders at the forefront of creating jobs in the industry and hear their ideas about expanding natural gas development. My legislation will help train workers for natural gas jobs and help businesses and local governments transition to natural gas vehicles.”

At the meeting at the Linde Corporation in Pittston, which specializes in Marcellus shale pipeline, Senator Casey called on congress to pass his legislation to increase the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel,  allow states to decide how to best develop the natural gas industry and create jobs, and ensure Pennsylvania workers are trained for jobs in the industry so work goes to Pennsylvanian’s and not out-of-state workers.

The STATE Natural Gas Act

Senator Casey’s Supporting Transportation Alternatives to Tackle Emissions with Natural Gas Act, or STATE Natural Gas Act, would create a grant program to offer states funding to develop initiatives that encourage the use of natural gas as a fuel and encourage public and private investment in natural gas vehicles and transportation infrastructure.

States would apply for grants through the Department of Energy and would be awarded based on several criteria, including:

  • The amount of public and private funds State plans are likely to leverage;
  • The degree that initiatives will support a need that is unlikely to be met by the private sector absent grant program funding;
  • The degree that initiatives will act as a bridge to private investment and sustainable market conditions; and,
  • Each State’s public and private investment in natural gas transportation and infrastructure.

The NGEAR Act

Senator Casey’s Natural Gas Energy and Alternative Rewards (NGEAR) Act would create a new rebate program for the purchase of natural gas buses and extend tax credits for natural gas filling stations and vehicle fuel, reducing costs for businesses and municipalities in the short-run and leading to long-term cost savings.

Specifically, the NGEAR Act would:

  • Establish a rebate of 30%, up to $15,000, for the purchase of natural gas school and transit buses;
  • Extend the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit of $0.50 a gallon  for the retail sale of natural gas fuel for everyone who uses it to power vehicles through 2016; and, 
  • Extend a tax credit for installing commercial natural gas refueling infrastructure through 2016, totaling 30% of the system, up to $30,000.

Marcellus Shale On-the-Job Training Act

Senator Casey’s Marcellus Shale On-the-Job Training Act would help give Pennsylvania workers the skills needed to get jobs in the natural gas industry so that workers are not shipped in from out-of-state. The bill would authorize grants to strengthen On-the-Job  Training programs to help ensure natural gas drilling jobs go to Pennsylvanians.

On-the-Job Training is a program authorized under the Workforce Investment Act.  The main purpose of the program is to allow an employer to sign a contract with the local workforce investment board (WIB), agreeing to hire workers that need on-site training.  The WIB provides a training subsidy to the employer equal to a percentage of the wage paid to the employee.

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