Natural-Gas Plan Backed By Pickens Seen Added To Senate Bill

Date : 07/14/2010 @ 7:21PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE)
Quote : 1.68  -0.15 (-8.20%) @ 8:00PM

Natural-Gas Plan Backed By Pickens Seen Added To Senate Bill

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A plan promoted by investor T. Boone Pickens to encourage more natural-gas vehicles will likely hitch a ride on a Senate energy bill that is to come up for a vote at the end of July.

"We plan to do something with natural gas," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, Nev.) told reporters on Wednesday. He referred to the "Pickens Plan" and a measure written by Sen. Bob Menendez (D, N.J.) and said "almost certainly I'm going to put that provision in the bill."

If the measure becomes law, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE) could be a beneficiary. Pickens owns a stake of almost 46% in the company, according to regulatory filings. Clean Energy Fuels describes itself as the leading provider of natural gas as a fuel for alternative-vehicle fleets in the U.S.

Senate Democrats plan to unveil the energy bill next week, according to a Democratic aide. Reid will attempt to begin debate on the bill the week of July 26. The Senate is scheduled to begin a month-long summer recess on Aug. 6.

The legislative effort would make good on a promise that Reid has been making for a year. Last July, Reid signed on to the measure, sponsored by Menendez, which would extend tax breaks for buying natural-gas vehicles, provide grants to develop light and heavy-duty gas engines, and provide incentives to build refueling stations. In August, Reid told an energy summit in Las Vegas that he had been "converted" to the "Pickens church."

-By Siobhan Hughes and Martin Vaughan, Dow Jones Newswires; (202) 862-6654;


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