Four State Governors Sign Deal to Promote CNG Vehicles

Four state governors, one Democrat and three Republicans, are teaming up to push the concept of CNG (compressed natural gas) powered vehicles. Among them is Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, a Marcellus Shale state.

The governors will start replacing vehicles in their state-owned fleets in an attempt to generate more interest in filling stations. It’s very much a chicken and egg situation: You need filling stations in order to power the vehicles, but you need vehicles that will use the filling stations to make them economically viable. The governors hope that by leading the way they will encourage others to follow.

The governors of Colorado, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wyoming are teaming up to encourage U.S. automakers to develop affordable vehicles that run on natural gas, a valuable resource in each of their states.

Their plan is to start replacing thousands of vehicles in their state fleets with ones that run on natural gas, in turn driving demand for more filling stations and cars that run on alternative fuel, according to a memorandum of understanding the governors signed Wednesday.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper touted the idea as a market-driven way to build demand for natural gas-driven school buses, pickup trucks and vans while also supporting jobs, reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil, cutting emissions, and providing fuel that is the equivalent of $1.25 per gallon cheaper than gasoline.

“Not only do we not send billions of dollars out of the country, it’s a cleaner-burning fuel that is significantly less expensive,” Mr. Hickenlooper said in announcing the effort at a Colorado Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition workshop.

Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, a Republican, and Mr. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, led the initiative. Mr. Hickenlooper said the National Governors Association would help promote the idea to other states.*

*AP/Washington Times (Nov 9, 2011) – Governors push for cars that run on natural gas