As one of the world’s leading natural gas producers, the United States has an opportunity to help meet our transportation fuel needs domestically while also saving money, protecting our environment and redefining the transportation sector in America. By increasing our use of vehicles fueled with clean natural gas, we can put our country on the road to energy independence in a big way.

While Ohio families continue to grapple with fluctuating gasoline prices, natural gas prices remain affordable thanks to an abundance of supply that does not have to be imported. Natural gas vehicles could save Ohio drivers nearly one-third the cost of gasoline and diesel.

In addition to the economic savings, natural gas vehicles are a cleaner alternative offering substantial environmental benefits. With tailpipe emissions 25 percent cleaner than gasoline or diesel fuel, natural gas vehicles emit less carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter than their traditional counterparts. Thanks to natural gas powered vehicles, drivers across the Buckeye state do not have to choose between affordable energy and environmental protection.

The savings and benefits of natural gas vehicles are also being recognized by our state officials. Governor Kasich recently signed a memorandum of understanding urging state-owned fleets to convert their vehicles to natural gas. Additionally, the Governor’s energy plan calls for further incentives and infrastructure development for natural gas vehicles across our state. The city of Hamilton received a federal grant of nearly $245,000 to convert four vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG). It is crucial that we start converting vehicles to run on natural gas to help provide cleaner and cheaper transportation. I’m proud that Butler County stands at the forefront of these conversions in our state.

In just one example of how natural gas vehicles can save money and clean the air, Waste Management has converted its fleet in cities across Ohio to run on natural gas trucks, and stands to gain substantially. This is part of a companywide plan to lower emissions by 15 percent and increase the fuel efficiency of its fleet by 15 percent by the year 2020.

As we enter the summer driving season, gas prices will be a key factor in determining whether many Ohio drivers set out on the open road or stay home. With our abundance of supply at an affordable cost, we should be moving toward natural gas vehicles. And to realize even greater savings and environmental benefits, we should encourage our elected leaders to heed Governor Kasich’s call to convert state and local vehicle fleets to natural gas. Using more of this domestic resource would put Ohio and our nation, on the express lane to energy independence.


Post a Comment