Is support dwindling for NAT GAS Act? [w/video]

GigaOM interviews T. Boone Pickens – Click above to watch video after the jump

Senior energy executive Karl W. Miller says he strongly supports establishing a comprehensive energy plan for the U.S. However, Miller says government handouts "do not work, never have and never will" and believes that natural gas is no different. Miller claims nobody can "jam natural gas" down consumers' throats by forced consumption, media blitzes and government taxes. Miller is no T. Boone Pickens, that's for sure and he says that opposition to the NAT GAS Act, a bill promoting the use of natural gas vehicles, is rising. Miller says the "failed Pickens Plan" is "dead on arrival in Washington" and claims that numerous Republicans have already and publicly withdrawn their support for the proposed NAT GAS Act (H.R. 1380 – PDF warning).

H.R 1380 has never been taken up by the House Committee on Ways and Means, meaning that an official vote on it could still be years away. However, as we see it, subsidizing natural gas is almost a side issue here. The NAT GAS Act seems to be controversial 'cause it will tack on an estimated $10 billion in debt at a time when the U.S. government's finances are already stretched thin.

For a bit of background information, we've embedded video of an interview GigaOM did with Pickens after the jump prior to the NAT GAS Act's official announcement back in April.

[Source: NEAH]
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Proposed Natural Gas Act: Dead on Arrival in Washington

NEW YORK, July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senior energy executive Karl W. Miller is a major supporter in establishing a comprehensive energy plan for the U.S.

However, Mr. Miller has advised numerous times, government handouts do not work, never have and never will. The capital markets must make investment decisions based upon supply, demand, price points and other factors. Natural gas is no different; producers can't "jam natural gas" down the consumer's throat by forced consumption, media blitzes, and government taxes (subsidies on natural gas vehicles, etc.).

The following statement has been issued by Mr. Miller:

What Is the Natural Gas Act?

The essential elements of the failed "Pickens Plan" were incorporated into the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act, or the NAT GAS Act, which was introduced by groups of senators and representatives in the previous two Congresses. The legislation would jump-start the use of natural-gas-powered heavy-duty trucks by giving tax incentives and subsidies to purchasers and manufacturers of natural-gas-powered vehicles.

A bill promoting natural gas vehicles was first introduced in 2008 by arch conservative Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). The first NAT GAS Act was soon introduced by a bipartisan coalition including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and conservative champion Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Chief among those who are pushing conservatives in Congress to drop their support for the NAT GAS Act are the Koch brothers. Charles Koch has been loudly vocalizing his opposition to the "misguided suggestion that the natural-gas industry should receive enormous new subsidies."

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has been leading the conservative attacks against the NAT GAS Act. Rep. Pompeo maintains that he is opposed to "using taxpayer dollars to support targeted interests within the energy sector."

The new efforts to oppose the NAT GAS Act are paying off, convincing co-sponsors to take the unusual step of publicly withdrawing their support for a bill that they previously cosponsored. Reps. Tim Griffin (R-AR) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) withdrew their names as sponsors on May 26, joining Reps. Todd Akin (R-MO) and Steve Pearce (R-NM), who dropped their backing earlier in the month. Rep. Thompson had also been a co-sponsor of the 2009 version of the bill.

To see organizations who oppose investments in natural gas vehicles and their statements against "subsidies" for natural gas, go to:

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