Director, External Affairs at Cabot Oil & Gas
Lackawanna County is looking to convert some of the transit agency’s vans and buses to CNG, saving taxpayers money, while using natural gas drilled in Pennsylvania.
I read with great interest the Scranton Times editorial supporting a compressed natural gas (CNG) station in Lackawanna County. As someone who drives a CNG vehicle, gets it maintained locally and desires to find good uses for locally produced natural gas, a CNG station in Scranton will help the local economy, clean the air and lessen the importance of foreign oil. Bravo to the Times for promoting the benefits of natural has as a vehicle fuel.
Below is the full editorial which was published on January 2, 2016.
The state’s potential inclusion of the County of Lackawanna Transit System among 27 such agencies targeted for compressed natural gas (CNG) stations would expand access to an abundant Pennsylvania fuel.
The Department of Transportation wants to forge partnerships with companies to establish CNG stations at selected public transit agency facilities. The agencies would agree to buy some fuel from the stations, which would also be open to private and commercial vehicles.
State agencies already have 149 buses powered by compressed gas, and COLTS Director Robert Fiume said the county transit bureau plans to convert some shared-ride vans to CNG and likely will replace diesel-powered buses with CNG buses.
The state’s emergence as a leader in natural gas production justifies PennDOT’s move. The effort will create incentives for conversion of publicly owned and private fleets to CNG that can be recaptured relatively quickly, saving money for taxpayers and helping companies become more competitive.
Production of natural gas vehicles nationally has jumped 40 percent over the last decade, and CNG is a cheaper alternative to machines that run on gasoline and diesel fuel. Steadily retreating oil and gasoline prices have removed some of CNG’s cost advantage. But the recent regional average CNG price of $1.99 per gallon of equivalent gasoline, according to industry tracker CNGprices.com, still compares very favorably to the average cost of diesel fuel, at $2.52 per gallon.
Expansion of natural gas vehicles also would help the state meet its clean air goals more easily. CNG vehicles emit about 25 percent fewer greenhouse gases than conventionally powered cars and trucks and they eliminate about 95 percent of the tailpipe emissions distributed by gasoline-fueled autos.
CNG vehicles are quieter than traditionally powered units and they provide a comparable driving experience.
The state’s incentive advances the public interest by promoting wider adaptation of a cleaner, cheaper and more efficient alternative fuel that is produced domestically and helps reduce reliance on foreign oil.
Reposted from Well Said Cabot.