GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold jumps off Boone Pickens’ natural gas bill bandwagon

Rep. Blake Farenthold removed his name as a cosponsor of the so-called Natural Gas Bill this week.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, has joined 13 other Republicans who have removed their names as co-sponsors for a piece of natural gas legislation being championed by billionaire Texas energy executive and investor T. Boone Pickens.

The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011 would amend IRS codes to encourage alternative energy investments and natural gas powered vehicles.

Farenthold said he still supports  natural gas as an energy resource, but wants to see its use encouraged in a more efficient way.

“While I believe natural gas vehicles are a great solution to high gasoline prices, the government doesn’t need to be picking winners and losers in the energy game,” Farenthold told Texas on the Potomac.

While lobbying groups have been voicing their concerns with the bill, the legislation still has a impressive number of supporters topping 180.

Four Republicans who had signed on as cosponsors of the act act withdrew their backing in May, as conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform stepped up campaigns against the legislation.

The Republican congressmen who also removed their names as cosponsors this round include, Reps. Steve Pearce, N.M., Todd Akin, Mo., Glenn Thompson, Pa. , Tim Griffin, Ark., Cory Gardner, Colo., Scott Tipton, Colo., Mike Coffman, Colo., Larry Bucshon, Ind., John Kline, Minn., Mike Kelly, Pa., Scott Rigell, Va., Richard Nugent, Fla. and Joseph Pitts, Pa.

Texas on the Potomac incorrectly reported that a Senate-version of the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011 was introduced to committee.