The biggest potential consumer benefit is in the House bill that would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to extend to CNG-powered vehicles all of the incentives directed at plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. That would mean federal tax credits of anywhere from $2,500 to $7,500 for new buyers. The House version would also open up Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program funds to be doled out to alternative-fuel vehicle projects.
A provision in the Senate bill would give CNG-powered tractor-trailers a 2,000-pound weight equalization allowance. That would removed the penalty faced by CNG-powered trucks for the extra plumbing and tanks necessary to give them the same range as their diesel-powered counterparts.
A conference committee is still fleshing out the two versions in order to present a final bill for passage. The president signed a two-week extension for highway funding that's good until Dec. 4, which gives the committee until this Friday to complete its work.