- Extra-time goal gives Germany World Cup title over Argentina
- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
Governors push for cars that run on natural gas
In-state resource a driving force
Question of the Day
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — 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.
Colorado alone has about 5,800 vehicles in its fleet, plus about 2,000 more within the state Department of Transportation, state fleet manager Art Hale said. Because of a limited state budget, Colorado now has a three-year backlog of about 1,600 vehicles that need to be replaced, he said.
"Some of these vehicles are 10 to 12 years old. We have no choice but to start replacing them," Mr. Hickenlooper said.
The extraction of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, which involves injecting a mix of water, chemicals and sand into rock underground at high pressure, has drawn concern from some residents and environmentalists, especially as companies look to tap the Niobrara formation underlying parts of Colorado and Wyoming and the Marcellus Shale play across much of Pennsylvania.
The Environmental Protection Agency is studying the potential effects of flacking on drinking water, but results aren't expected until next year.
Production of natural gas vehicles today remains low. Honda makes a Civic that runs on natural gas, but it's more expensive than a standard model.
There are about 1,200 natural gas vehicles in Colorado and an estimated 120,000 in the U.S., said David Hill, vice president of operations in Encana Natural Gas Inc.'s natural gas economy division. There are about 960 fueling stations nationwide, he said. Colorado has 29, ranking it seventh in the country, Mr. Hill said.
TWT Video Picks
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- 9-year-old girl dies from brain-eating amoeba
- New York City creates ID card so 500K illegal immigrants can get services
- CURL: The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi formerly a U.S. captive
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Germany wins World Cup title on Mario Goetze goal in extra time
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs