OKLAHOMA CITY – A legislative proposal that would help counties convert their fleets to compressed natural gas and increase CNG infrastructure now has the endorsement of T. Boone Pickens.
“Oklahoma is looking to make things happen,” Pickens said. “While others are debating the merits of exporting our expanding supplies of domestic natural gas to Europe and Asia, Oklahoma is hard at work on creating demand for this premium fuel, and helping rebuild their economy on the backs of this cleaner, cheaper resource. A good case in point is Oklahoma House Bill 2954, which would move more than 2,400 county vehicles to domestic natural gas. This is a great move for Oklahoma, for the environment and for those who believe in greater fiscal responsibility by our elected officials.”
House Bill 2954, by Rep. Josh Cockroft and Sen. Kyle Loveless, would set up a fund to help counties convert their vehicles to compressed natural gas and encourage development of CNG fuel stations for both government and public use.
“Encouraging the use of compressed natural gas saves government dollars while at the same time boosting the natural gas industry in Oklahoma,” said Cockroft, R-Wanette. “Our legislation gives counties the ability to realize the savings we are already seeing at the state level from the conversion of vehicles to compressed natural gas.”
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has recorded thousands of dollars in savings from the CNG conversion of only 174 vehicles. There are approximately 2,400 county vehicles – excluding law enforcement vehicles – in the state. The legislation requires counties to track fuel savings.
“After converting 174 vehicles to CNG, they recorded $163,451 in net savings in 5 months. That’s $32,690 per month,” Cockroft said.
The measure was approved by a vote of 71-17 in the House and 30-12 in the Senate. It is currently eligible to be heard by both chambers and signed by the governor after passage in the conference committee process.