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CNG

Oil is not the only energy resource in Oklahoma that runs your car, compressed natural gas or CNG just may be the next big thing powering your car.
CNG

CNG

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Oklahoma Natural Gas
Oklahoma's Alternative Fuel Tax Incentive

Show Dates

Show 0940: CNG

Air date: October 4, 2009

 

Transcript

Rob:  Earlier this year, Oklahoma governor, Brad Henry, signed a bill authored by speaker of the house, Chris Benge, to establish incentives to increase the number of CNG vehicles here in the state.  And most believe the quickest way to get there is with industry fleets.  Joining me now from just outside in our own parking lot is our Alisa Hines.

Alisa:  Well Rob, walk thru any parking lot and it’s pretty hard to find a car that runs on compressed natural gas.  But there’s a new incentive in town that’s helping green up Oklahoma, and it’s giving businesses a reason to convert their company cars to CNG.

Alisa:  When gasoline hit four dollars a gallon, Speaker of the House Chris Benge decided it was time for a change.

Chris Benge:  For several years now, I’ve had a concern about our increasing dependence on foreign oil.  And specifically OPEC oil nations that provide energy for our country that are not necessarily friendly to us and have our best interest in mind.

Alisa:  So he co-authored a bill giving buyers of CNG cars, and fueling stations they depend on, a substantial tax break.  One AT&T of Oklahoma gladly accepted by rolling out thirty CNG vans.

Bryan Gonterman:  We’ve got quite an availability of natural gas.  Obviously it’s a cleaner burning fuel, less cost, less maintenance, because of less emissions that the vehicles are running on CNG will emit.  So there’s a good corporate reason, not only from a cost perspective, but also from a corporate sustainability perspective.

Alisa:  Good for the environment; and good for Oklahoma.

Ronn Cupp:  This puts us out front in encouraging the use of alternative energy.

Alisa:  Ronn Cupp is with the State Chamber and says compressed natural gas will be good for business.

Cupp:  We have a vast amount of natural gas in Oklahoma, and we have a number of companies that produce it.  So I think it’s going to create jobs by creating incentives for companies, particularly with fleets, like AT&T and others.  I think you’re going to see that as a boost to economic development.

Alisa:  The Tulsa Chamber’s Don Walker agrees.

Don Walker:  So from a Chamber of Commerce standpoint, from a business person in Tulsa, I think it is certainly a win-win for Tulsa and for Oklahoma.

Alisa:  Yet for all this to work, it’s going to take more fueling stations with CNG.  Something Speaker Benge says the state is promoting with incentives.

Chris Benge:  We have a goal of doubling the publicly accessible fueling stations over the next five years.  And we’re trying to do that through a couple of ways; one in a private sector carrot, if you will, or an incentive, for companies that wish to, to be able to put a fueling station in place that would also be accessible to the public.

Alisa:  A kind of “if you build it, they will come” attitude, one AT&T is buying into.

Gonterman:  That is a big impact on the announcements and the investment that we will ultimately make.  As the infrastructure grows, we will be able to bring more CNG vehicles to the state and elsewhere in the country.  One of our main decision points on where we’re actually making this investment and where these number of vehicles are going will be dependent upon available infrastructure to refuel these vehicles.

Alisa:  It’s win-win in greening up Oklahoma.

Alisa:  Now the tax credit available for putting in a CNG fueling station is about seventy-five percent of the cost, and they’ve also extended the credit for purchasing a CNG vehicle.

Rob:  Now that’s quite an incentive for the private sector.  But what about government fleets?

Alisa:  Well there’s already programs in place that cities, schools and counties can use to be able to put in their own CNG fueling station.  And what speaker Benge is hoping will happen is that these stations will become available for public use.  And hopefully, maybe encourage the public to go out and buy a CNG vehicle.

Rob:  Thank you, Alisa.  Now we do have more about the future of compressed natural gas on our website.  There we have the full interview with T Boone Pickens, as well as, a feature on an Oklahoma company that makes CNG pumps for the international market.  Simply head to OkHorizon.com and click on value added.