Governor Gary Herbert along with legislators and government leaders are putting their support behind a bill that would help local and state agencies expand their fleets of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles.
SB 275 would create a new government agency to examine ways to quickly facilitate the conversion of state fleets to compressed natural gas vehicles. The bill also authorizes the agency to work with private corporations, like Questar gas, to help fund the initial investment school districts, gas companies, and government agencies will need to make. Senator Stuart Adams says even though the initial investment is steep, the overall savings for using CNG will help them quickly recoup their losses.
“The school districts don’t have the $30 thousand," Adams says. "But they pay it back and make money after 24 months. So, if you can just find that initial investment, actually it reduces the cost to the school districts and the state fleet.”
Governor Gary Herbert says this bill is a step in the right direction for improving Utah’s health and overall quality of life. He also says that due to the abundance of natural gas resources in the state, an increased demand for the fuel will boost Utah’s economy.
“Hydraulic fracturing has allowed us to develop our natural gas resources in ways that we never knew possible," Herbert says. "We have a lot of natural gas here in the state of Utah, and more natural gas around the country. It’s clearly the fuel of the future.”
Several other bills aimed at helping eliminate Utah’s air pollution problems have also been proposed during this year’s legislature, but so far none have passed in both the House and Senate.