Lauding General Motors Corp. and the Chrysler Group, Range Resources Corp. senior officials on Wednesday declared their fleet operations in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and other states now operate almost entirely on natural gas.

Range sponsored an event in its Southern Marcellus Shale Division south of Pittsburgh, PA, for public- and private-sector representatives to discuss various issues and attributes of natural gas as a cleaner transportation fuel, noting it now has 184 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in its corporate fleet, with 100 of them stationed in southwest Pennsylvania.

The Fort Worth, TX-based drilling company said it has purchased both Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and Ram 2500 pickup trucks from GM and Chrysler, respectively.

“Both GM and Chrysler Group deserve a tremendous amount of credit for providing natural gas-powered transportation options direct from the factory,” said Range COO Ray Walker, adding that demand is growing for CNG vehicles as more consumers, businesses and public transit operators realize the fuel’s cost-savings and environmental advantages compared to gasoline or diesel.

Officials from GM, Chrysler and the Pittsburgh Regional Clean Cities program attended the meeting at the Range Southern Marcellus offices. GM’s Mark Karney, alternative fuels director, said he expected CNG vehicle demand to grow as more styles and models are offered.

“Not only does CNG provide our nation with a stronger, more balanced energy portfolio, but it enhances our national security, our environment and our economy,” Walker said.