Truckers cannot buy compressed natural gas or liquid propane at retail gas stations in Illinois, but companies that want to get into that business might get started if their products were not at a tax disadvantage to diesel. It takes more gallons of CNG or propane to go the same distance as diesel, and a bill under consideration in Springfield would reduce the tax rate accordingly.
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Clean Energy Fuels, a company owned by T. Boone Pickens, is behind this effort in the form of a bill pending before an Illinois House committee. “One gallon of diesel fuel, to get the same energy of liquefied natural gas, you need 1.7 gallons of liquefied natural gas,” Pickens lobbyist Mike Kasper told the committee. “The idea is to equalize the tax rates so these vehicles are not incented (sic.) to stop in Indiana and fuel up.” At the moment, only fleet vehicles that have their own LP or CNG stations are using those fuels in Illinois. S.B. 3369 is in the House Revenue and Finance Committee.