Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 13, 2008
Sen. Andrew Rice discusses his environmentally-friendly legislation
for state agencies and schools.
Rice Unveils State Energy Savings Plans
Motivated by potential energy cost savings and reduced
hydrocarbon emissions, State Senator Andrew
Rice (D-Oklahoma City) today urged the Oklahoma legislature
to adopt his bipartisan bills to encourage public institutions in
the state to adopt energy saving policies.
In a meeting with the media on Wednesday, Rice unveiled two bills:
the first to convert large state-owned vehicle fleets to compressed
natural gas (CNG) or any other alternative fuel, and a second bill
requiring Oklahoma public schools to establish annual energy savings
goals beginning next year.
“Individual consumers across Oklahoma and the nation are being
forced by economic pressures to reduce their energy costs,”
Rice said. “Many are also finding ways to cut down on harmful
emissions that scientists have concluded are accelerating global
warming. These bills offer modest ways that Oklahoma’s public
institutions can do the same thing.”
Rice’s fleet conversion bill, S.B. 1771, is co-authored in
the House by State Rep. Weldon Watson, R-Tulsa. It requires the
35 state agencies with at least ten vehicles in their fleet to either
purchase vehicles that utilize CNG or convert existing vehicles
to CNG in order to increase fuel efficiency by 50 percent by June
30, 2012. The Oklahoma City Democrat said he is amending his original
bill to include other alternative fuels when compressed natural
gas is unavailable.
“Natural gas is one of Oklahoma’s most plentiful natural
resources,” Rice said. “If we can convert our state
agency fleets to this clean-burning fuel while reducing hydrocarbon
emissions at the same time, it’s a win-win for Oklahomans.”
Other vehicle fleets which have converted to CNG have reported fuel
cost savings ranging from 25% to 50%, Rice said. He also cited findings
that show CNG reduces hydrocarbon emissions by 50 percent and carbon
monoxide emissions by 90 percent. Rice’s bill requires that
all state-owned fueling stations provide CNG by no later than July
1, 2009, provided the cost of the fuel is not 10 percent higher
than conventional fuel.
Rice also introduced S.B. 1504, to require the state’s public
school districts to establish a goal of reducing the district’s
annual electric consumption by five percent each year for six years
beginning January 1, 2009. The bill was introduced in the House
by State Rep. Tad Jones, R-Claremore.
Although the bill proposes no penalties for failure to comply, it
does require the State Department of Education to compile individual
school district reports and file an annual condensed report with
the Governor, President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House.
“Whether it’s changing to lower watt light bulbs or
converting to energy efficient appliances, if every school district
in the state is able to achieve a modest energy consumption savings
of five percent per year for the next six years, we will have significantly
reduced our state’s electric consumption by 2015,” Rice
said. “These measures can also help create more awareness
among Oklahoma’s children and families about ways they can
reduce energy consumption to save money and help the environment.
Choosing energy efficient products is one of the smartest ways consumers
can reduce energy use and help prevent greenhouse gas emissions.”
For more information contact:
Senator Rice's Office: (405) 521-5610