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NATGAS Act Would Provide Subsidies For Cars on Natural Gas

The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011 (NATGAS Act) would subsidize cars running on natural gas.  Introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the prime beneficiary of the legislation would be T. Boone Pickens, left. He owns 41 percen of Clean Energy Fuels, which as the largest natural gas truck fueling station in the world and plans to set up a series of similar fueling stations around the country--if it can get the subsidies.

Pickens gain  would be at the expense of everyone who uses natural gas, which will spike in price if demand increases.  Primary among natural gas users is the fertilizer industry.  One of the world's largest fertilizer sellers is Koch Fertilizer, a subsidiary of Koch Industries.  Charles and David Koch, above right, have led the resistance to  the NATGAS Act.

According to Clean Energy Fuels:
"Our business plan and the ability of our business to successfully grow depends in part on the extension of the federal fuel excise tax credit for natural gas vehicle fuel, the reinstatement and extension of the federal income tax credit for the purchase of natural gas vehicles and the passage of legislation providing for additional incentives for the sale and use of natural gas vehicles."
All of the above provisions are in the NAGAS Act.

Pickens owns options  to buy 15 million shares of Clean Energy Fuels at $10 per shared, according to SEC filings.  Those options expire Dec 28.  If Congress couls pass the NATGAS ACt this month, shares of Clean Energy would skyrocket.  If the bill does not pass this moth, those options might become worthless, or at least risky.  (Washington Examiner, 12/10/2011)