The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Monday that would create a “one-stop shop” within the state Labor Department for the regulation of compressed natural gas fueling stations and vehicle conversions.

Customers converting vehicles to compressed natural gas would be required to give up 5 percent of the 50 percent state tax credit they are eligible to receive so that money can go to the Labor Department to pay for the new oversight.

The bill passed the House 69-19 and will now go to the governor.

State Rep. Jerry McPeak, D-Warner, and several other lawmakers debated against the bill, calling it a “tax increase.”

House author Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, insisted it is not.

“This is absolutely not a tax increase,” Osborn said. “What this is, is a diversion of 5 percent of an optional credit that you can apply for.”

State Rep. Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa, said the new regulation is necessary to serve as a check on “fly-by-night” conversion installers.

“The last thing we want in this state is to have a series of accidents, explosions, malfunctions in this industry, because our state’s future depends on the development of this technology,” O’Donnell said.

©2014 The Oklahoman