Oklahoma’s House of Representatives has passed a bill (HB 2954) that would use some existing state revenue sources to help counties switch their fleet vehicles to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and add to the state’s fueling infrastructure for natural gas vehicles (NGV).

HB 2954 was passed by the lower legislative body on a 71-17 vote and has gone to the state Senate for consideration. Its author, Rep. Josh Cockroft, said the bill was meant to expand on efforts by Gov. Mary Fallin to expand the use of NGVs (see Daily GPI, Aug. 10, 2012).

Cockroft’s bill would use funds generated by a gross production tax to help counties convert their fleets to run on natural gas, and to expand the numbers of NGV fueling stations available for state and county government vehicles, along with those of the general public that run on CNG or liquefied natural gas (LNG).

HB 2954 would require tracking of fuel savings and help the counties develop fuel stations that could be available to government fleets and the general public.

“CNG is an investment that has been proven to save the state money and we are basically giving counties the opportunity to get in on those savings to further benefit taxpayers,” Cockroft said. “CNG is a cheaper fuel than gasoline, but also continues to benefit the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma. Using it in government vehicles is a win-win.”

Cockroft noted that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation recorded a savings of approximately $32,690/month after converting 174 vehicles to CNG. There are approximately 2,400 county vehicles excluding law enforcement vehicles in the state, he said.