“The state transportation department’s numbers on utilizing CNG vehicles is staggering, said state Rep. Josh Cockroft, author of House Bill 2954. “After converting 174 vehicles to CNG, they recorded $163,451 in net savings in 5 months. That’s $32,690 per month. My legislation would aid counties in converting their fleets to CNG and further multiply those savings throughout the state.”
There are two important things to understand about counties, Cockroft said. First, they utilize a large number of vehicles. Second, there are 77 counties and 231 county commissioner districts in Oklahoma, meaning that there is a great potential for cost savings, he said.
Throughout Oklahoma, there are about 2,400 light duty vehicles, or 5,000 if you include law enforcement, Cockroft said.
“Imagine the cost savings for 5,000 vehicles,” said state Sen. Kyle Loveless, the Senate author of the legislation. “It would be a great leap forward in government modernization.”
The legislation would require tracking of fuel savings and help the counties develop CNG infrastructure that would be available to counties, municipalities, the state fleet and the general public, Cockroft said. It expands on Gov. Mary Fallin’s efforts to advance Oklahoma’s energy policy, he said.
“The fueling stations would benefit everyone and there would be stations in all 77 counties,” Cockroft said. “The legislation uses existing general revenue funds within the gross production tax and funding expires after the fleets and infrastructure is in place. This legislation is a great investment for everyone involved. This is a solid plan for the future of Oklahoma in energy.”
County Commissioner Quotes on HB2954
“Natural gas is a proven fuel source that comes from right here in Oklahoma. The fuel cost savings and lower emissions make it a great alternative for county fleets.” – Oklahoma County Commissioner Ray Vaughn
“I recently purchased CNG trucks for my district and it was a great investment. CNG technology breaks us away from foreign oil dependency and delivers massive fuel savings with lower emissions.” – Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan
“I love the idea of CNG vehicles coming to the counties. This legislation will be a great tool to get rid of our old gas guzzlers and replace them with clean, efficient vehicles. Representative Cockroft did a great job with this legislation.” – Canadian County Commissioner Jack Stewart
“Converting all Oklahoma’s counties fleets to natural gas would be a huge step in the right direction. I would love the ability to use my fuel costs savings towards preservation of roads and bridges in my district. This is a great legislative idea.” – Ottawa County Commissioner Russell Earls
“CNG is good for the environment and good for Oklahoma. When we go to fuel our CNG truck, the gas could very well be from an Oklahoma gas well.” – Commissioner Rod Cleveland District 1 Cleveland County
“The addition of CNG vehicles to our Fleet has been a great benefit to Cleveland County. We have tracked our dollars saved for the citizens in fuel savings and have been very pleased. This proposed legislation will be an outstanding benefit for all 77 counties as we move forward in this initiative.” – Cleveland County Commissioner Darry Stacy