Friday, April 3, 2009

Natural Gas Vehicles Still A Talking Point

Associated Press
Natural gas vehicles touted at conference
By SEAN MURPHY , 04.02.09, 11:02 AM EDT

Environmentally friendly natural gas cars could reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, lower fuel costs and provide an economic boost to Oklahoma companies, backers of these vehicles said.

Buses, garbage trucks, pickups and compact sedans, all powered by compressed natural gas, were on display during a workshop on natural gas vehicles in Midwest City on Wednesday.
As the nation looks for ways to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and the number of compressed natural gas fueling stations continues to rise, more companies, fleet managers and state agencies are looking to switch to natural gas-powered vehicles, said Stephe Yborra, a spokesman for NGV America, a natural gas vehicle industry trade association.

"Natural gas vehicles are a great extension of what we refer to in our industry as the many burner tips - the stove, the water heater, the gas fireplace," Yborra said. "Now we have one more technology, an advanced technology, that's a great use of the fuel.

"And it's American fuel - 98 percent of all the natural gas used in the United States comes from North America, and I think that's a very important factor in today's environment."
With an ample supply of natural gas in the region and a home to two of the country's largest independent producers of natural gas - Chesapeake Energy Corp. ( CHK - news - people ) and Devon Energy Corp. ( DVN - news - people ) - Oklahoma is among the leaders in embracing the technology, Yborra said.

Oklahoma already has about 40 compressed natural gas fueling stations, and that number is expected to increase, Yborra said.

Construction already is under way for another fueling station in northwest Oklahoma City just south of Chesapeake's campus, said Anthony Foster, fleet manager for the Oklahoma City-based energy company.

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