The Edmond Sun

April 29, 2013

Senator Inhofe visits local CNG company

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — U.S. Sen. James Inhofe visited a local company Monday that converts gasoline-powered vehicles into CNG-burning engines.

Demand is rising for compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel. CNG is compressed to a pressure of about 3,600 pounds per square inch and stored in a fuel cylinder aboard the vehicle. CNG flows into the engine’s combustion chamber and ignited to create power to drive the vehicle.

The gas industry promotes CNG as the cleanest burning fuel available today, a fuel that is easier on maintenance costs, has performance advantages, is cheaper than regular gasoline and is safer, they say.

Nearly 100 percent of gasoline vehicles can be converted and diesel engines can be blended with natural gas. Customers of CNG Interstate, 100 N.W. 142nd St., include one of Inhofe’s assistants.

“The senator was really enthusiastic about the conversion and wanted to come see the facility,” said Sammy Page, CNG Interstate’s technical director. “There’s been a lot of hype about the whole industry.”

Page said Inhofe is a major advocate for the alternative fuel industry and it was a thrill to have the senator visit their business.

Two years ago, Mya Wright’s husband Craig established CNG Interstate’s local location, which is just inside Oklahoma City’s city limits. Wright said at the time that Oklahoma, which ranks fourth in the nation in natural gas production, is an energy-conscious state. The company also has a location in Utah.

Eight percent of America’s natural gas liquid reserves are located in Oklahoma, according to the OERB. More than a dozen of the 100 largest natural gas fields in America, which have yet to be extracted or produced, are located in the state.

“The people want what works best and it’s here,” Wright said at the time he opened his business in Oklahoma.

Inhofe said CNG Interstate is an example of a business that could help the United States shed its dependence on foreign oil.

CNG Interstate is currently able to convert one vehicle per day. The business also performs maintenance and most everything to do with the alternative fuel industry.

Page said the business also does development work toward making CNG conversion more user friendly, easier to install and cheaper to do overall.

“It’s gotta start somewhere,” he said.

Inhofe, who has sponsored a number of measures including the Drive on Natural Gas Act in recent years, has said America’s future supply of natural gas is 2,047 trillion cubic feet, a third of the world’s technically recoverable conventional natural gas resources. At today’s rate of use, this is enough natural gas to meet American demand for 90 years, Inhofe said. | 341-2121