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Thomas Lawson

President, Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition
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Thomas Lawson leads the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition’s efforts to promote effective clean transportation policies and educate people about the benefits of NGVs running on renewable natural gas. He’s known for building bridges and focusing relentlessly on getting the dirtiest vehicles off the road.

As CNGVC president, Lawson works with Coalition members—natural gas vehicle and engine manufacturers, utilities, fuel providers, and fleet operators—to define needs and priorities, and with legislators and regulators to shape policies that succeed at boosting alternative fuel and vehicle use.

Lawson is a familiar face in the state Capitol and at clean truck policy and technology conferences across the country. Under his leadership the Coalition has actively supported legislation to fund zero- and near-zero-emission heavy-duty truck deployment, provide additional climate change funds to the communities most affected by pollution and poverty, reduce short-lived climate pollutants, and extend California’s landmark greenhouse gas reduction programs.

Before joining the Coalition, he was director of the Office of Legislative Affairs for former California Attorney General (now U.S. Senator) Kamala Harris. As a high-level policy advisor to Harris and her senior staff, Lawson shepherded more than 60 bills through the legislative process. He honed his policy skills while serving three Assembly speakers (Fabian Nuñez, Karen Bass, and John Pérez) and running successful state Senate and Assembly campaigns.

Lawson is most proud of the results of the legislation he’s championed in 10 years of working in the legislature: safer neighborhoods, a stronger Central Valley, and cleaner air.

Lawson’s favorite topics include:

  • The myriad benefits of running near-zero natural gas engines on renewable natural gas
  • California’s enormous opportunity to get large numbers of dirty vehicles off the road
  • Tailoring clean-air programs to regional characteristics
  • Matching clean transportation technologies to fleet needs
  • The power of strange bedfellows

Photo ©Westport Innovations, used by permission

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