The Edmond Sun

State News

April 22, 2014

Energy secretary touts CNG fleet conversion

EDMOND — Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague said the state is leading the way in converting its fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas.

And, he adds, the state is working to get federal officials engaged in moving its fleet of vehicles in Oklahoma to use CNG.

Teague made those statements Tuesday during a visit to Champion CNG, 13915 N. Harvey Ave. in Edmond. The visit also coincided with Earth Day.

“The push from the governor is as you purchase new vehicles it should be CNG,” Teague said. “ODOT jumped way out front on it. They have done a really good job of pushing it. Last time I checked it was just under 400 vehicles in the state fleet and ODOT has 160 of them. What are missing are the federal fleets. We are working on it with the White House right now.”

Teague said Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been a big proponent of CNG vehicles.

In 2011, Fallin and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joined 14 other states to sign a multi-state Memorandum of Understanding committing to the purchase of NGVs for each state’s fleet and encouraging the development of more functional and affordable CNG vehicles.

As a result of the effort, car manufacturers are offering states lower cost NGVs and more model types including the recent introduction of half-ton trucks and mid-sized sedans that run on CNG.

According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, only California and New York rank ahead of Oklahoma in the number of CNG fueling stations.

Teague said Oklahoma still has an uphill battle in providing enough CNG filling station infrastructures in rural areas.

He gave the example of Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials working on a project in Antlers but can’t use their CNG vehicles in that area because there are no CNG filling stations nearby.

“They (ODOT) have a huge maintenance team that is down in Antlers and there are no CNG trucks down there because they have no place to fill them up,” Teague said.

Brad Swartout, business partner with Champion CNG, told Teague that businesses like Champion need help from the state to help regulate the CNG industry.

He cited the examples of people offering discount items on websites like Craigslist that don’t meet industry safety requirements.

Teague said a bill recently was sent to Fallin by Rep. Leslie Osborne, R-Mustang, and Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, which will allow the Oklahoma Department of Labor to regulate the CNG industry.

The Legislature recently approved House Bill 3297, which would consolidate the inspection and regulation of natural gas fueling stations at the Department of Labor.

The bill allows the DOL to regulate compressed natural gas fueling stations instead of the Corporation Commission. It transfers the duties and enforcement of the Alternative Fuels Technician Certification Act to the Department of Labor.

“We are trying to make sure we are doing everything right,” Swartout said. “The state can help police our industry and keep us legit. There needs to be enforcement with everybody involved.”

Kyle Bengs, managing partner with Champion CNG, told Teague that the Edmond company markets to primarily fleet vehicles, but also does private vehicles as well.

“We don’t believe it (conversion) is for everyone because of the cost,” Bengs said. “We can do a cost analysis to see if it is right for them. It has to make sense to them because it is an investment.”

Bengs said he was pleased to have Teague visit to see what Champion CNG offers.

“I think it is fantastic,” Bengs said. “It means a lot to have him because he is interested in natural gas and what we do here.”


Text Only
State News
  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • police car.jpg Enid man injured following pursuit

    Larry Lynn Edwards was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center following the 11:32 p.m. crash on 30th Street, just north of Fox Drive, with head and internal body injuries.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas man critical after ATV crash

    Edward Alan Bourland, 37, of San Angelo, Texas, was taken from the scene of the 3 p.m. collision by Eagle Med and flown to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

    July 26, 2014