Natural gas vehicle drivers will likely see their gas prices go up at least 50 cents a gallon after a federal tax credit runs out at the end of the year.
“At Love's (Travel Stops), we strive to maintain the lowest retail prices for our customers,” spokeswoman Kealey Dorian said.
“The CNG tax credit expiration will cause our costs to rise, but we are working to keep the impact to our natural gas customers minimal.”
The CNG credit was part of a package of tax credit extensions that passed with last year's “fiscal cliff” settlement.
Many retailers immediately dropped their prices on the gasoline alternative once the tax credit went into effect.
“I wish it'd stay on,” said OnCue Express CEO Jim Griffith, who added he has not heard anything about a potential extension of the tax credit. OnCue opened its first CNG fueling station in Oklahoma City in 2009.
He said prices at OnCue will go up at least 50 cents per gallon because of the expiring tax credit and rising natural gas prices.
Griffith said CNG will remain much cheaper than gasoline even without the expiring tax credit.
CNG prices in the metro area ranged from 88 cents to $1.69 a gallon on Friday, according to CNGnow.com, while AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report showed the average price of gasoline in Oklahoma City was $3.037 a gallon.
“As long as it maintains the spread, it'll do OK,” Griffith said. “When you get to two bucks, it's a whole different game.”
He said OnCue aims to keep its CNG prices as low as possible to encourage drivers to switch away from gasoline or diesel.
Oklahoma has more public CNG fueling stations per capita than any other state, thanks to aggressive efforts by state leaders and private interests to boost its use in transportation.
Griffith said OnCue still intends to add CNG to more locations around Oklahoma, but there have been problems getting adequate gas flow and pressure at some locations.