A bill that requires the state to use high-efficiency, low-polluting vehicles in its own fleet got strong support in the Utah State Senate this morning.
Senate Bill 99 originally required the state to use compressed natural gas vehicles for half its fleet by 2018. But Republican Senator Scott Jenkins changed it to allow vehicles that use low-sulfur Tier 3 gasoline. Jenkins says the people who run the state motor pool say it would accomplish the same goal for a lot less money.
Jenkins told reporters, “The motor pool come to me and said, ‘Look – instead of just making this compressed natural gas, why don’t we add the Tier 3 fuels. And they showed me where the emissions on Tier 3 and CNG are equal.”
Republican Senator Margaret Dayton was one of only two votes against the bill.
“My vote is no," Dayton said during floor debate, "and I am voting no because I think the market forces can take care of this issue. And if, by chance, the goal of 50% is not met, we have then put all the state agencies out of compliance with state law.”
SB 99 will need one more vote before it moves on to the House of Representatives.
In his State of the State address. Governor Gary Herbert set the goal of making Tier 3 gasoline more widely available in Utah. Some of Utah’s oil refineries are preparing to make the new fuel as part of their ongoing expansion projects.