INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Rep. Randall Frye (R-67) believes Indiana can become a leader in compressed natural gas technology, citing a number of companies including Columbus-based Cummins Inc. and AM General LLC in South Bend that produce engines or vehicles capable of using the fuel.
He said the state could save around $200 million in fuel costs switching vehicles to CNG from diesel or gasoline over a 10-year period.
Following is an outline of Frye’s proposal:
- Cuts dependence on foreign oil. We have a rich supply in excess of 100 years.
- Cost savings for tax payers. Will result in a huge saving over a two year budget by moving state vehicles to CNG. In excess of 1000,000,000. Over the next 10 years.
- Cost savings for county and local governments as they convert.
- Cost savings for schools. Evansville announced this week they’re switching their buses to CNG.
- Cost saving for Public Transit.
- Cost saving for industry. Cummins is building two new engines for large trucks and the American Trucking Association estimates a large amount of over the road trucks will convert by 2015.
- Cost savings for the consumer. Honda Civic GX, Ford F250 and 350. Chevy Silverado.
- Requires very little exhaust treatment. Meets EPA standards.
- Low Carbon output makes the air quality better for all of us.
- The EPA’s next target are the over the road trucks.
- Maintenance for CNG powered vehicles is 50% of a diesel or gasoline. Can go over 50,000 miles between oil changes.
Jobs and economic development
- Indiana’s companies are heavily invested in CNG. With the help of the legislature we should be able to assist in moving Indiana to the best fuel available.
- Honda, Cummins, Autocar, VPG, Chevrolet, Ford, and associate corporations will begin to hire as their sales increase.
Stable fuel cost
- Businesses often hold on to cash when uncertainty is evident in their cost of doing business. A company may purchase natural gas for up to 5 years in advance locking in their fuel cost.
- The Evansville Shale Field has not been tapped. As the demand increases exploration of that area will begin bringing more Hoosier jobs.
- The Clean Energy Group (T Boone Pickens) has agreed to install 500 CNG stations across America at Flying J and Pilot Truck Stops in the coming year.
- Shell has agreed to install 200 CNG stations at Travel America Truck Stops in the coming year.
- Citizens Gas has a public accessible station less that’s 5 blocks from the Statehouse selling CNG for under $1 per gallon.
- Vectren and NIPSCO are onboard.
- Trillium CNGT and AMP Americas Initially, AMP Trillium will construct stations along the I–65and I-75 trucking corridors and major routes in Texas, with the first station breaking ground by fall of 2012. The stations will be open to the public though the primary customers will likely be heavy-duty and long haul trucking fleets.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be working with house staff to develop legislation which will assist in making CNG available to Hoosiers. Ways and Means will be researching the tax code concerning motor fuels and determining if Indiana needs to change how CNG is taxed when used as a road fuel.
Alexander Graham Bell once was told the telephone will never work. You have to string wires everywhere. We will need to bury gas lines and install fuel stations but the cost savings is much more than worth it.
“Thank you for the invitation last week as it was most assuredly my pleasure to participate. I would very much look forward to the opportunity to further advance the cause of utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel in Indiana and the rest of our country, including attending the round table discussion. Please let me know the details and I will be sure set the time aside on my calendar. Again, thank you for championing what I believe to be fundamental and game changing positive shift to our most basic infrastructure needs.”
Sources: Inside INdiana Business Reports, Office of Rep. Randall Frye