For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2008
Sen. Andrew Rice
State Vehicle Fleet Conversion to Alternative
Fuels Gets Bipartisan Support in Senate
A bipartisan majority of State Senators voted today for Sen. Andrew
Rice’s plan to convert Oklahoma’s government vehicle
fleet to alternative fuels.
For Rice, D-OKC, it is his second amendment adopted by the Senate
in two days that will reduce energy costs and consumption by public
institutions in Oklahoma. His amendment to a public schools auditing
bill yesterday will encourage public school districts in the state
to reduce their electric energy consumption by five percent per
year for six years beginning in 2009.
“When private citizens across Oklahoma are being forced
to find ways to save energy costs in order to make ends meet, it
makes sense for their state government to do the same thing,”
Rice said. “These are modest proposals that save taxpayer
dollars and help the environment at the same time.”
Today, Rice successfully amended a bill (S.B. 1604) by State Sen.
David Myers, R-Ponca City, after the two Senators agreed on language
in the bill during debate on the floor. Rice agreed to expand his
amendment’s requirement for conversion of state vehicle fleets
to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to also include other alternative
Myers’ bill instructs the State Secretary of Energy to create
an energy policy for the state.
“Any energy policy would recognize that it’s important
for the state to save energy costs while using energy produced right
here at home so it’s appropriate to attach this amendment
to Senator Myers’ bill,” Rice said.
The Rice amendment is similar to legislation he introduced earlier
this year that requires all state-owned fueling stations to provide
CNG or other alternative fuels by July 1, 2009, provided the cost
of the fuel is not higher than 10 percent above the cost of conventional
gasoline or diesel. The 35 state agencies with 10 or more vehicles
will be required to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets
by 50 percent by June 30, 2012.
The fuel efficiency requirement can be attained by purchasing
vehicles that utilize CNG or other alternative fuels or by converting
engines of existing vehicles.
Rice said that other vehicle fleets across the country which have
converted to CNG have reported fuel cost savings ranging from 25%
to 50%. They have also reported reducing hydrocarbon emissions by
50 percent and carbon monoxide emissions by 90 percent.
“Natural gas is one of Oklahoma’s most abundant natural
resource,” Rice said. “We also can become a leading
supplier of biodiesel and ethanol because of our ability to produce
agricultural products that serve as sources for those fuels. This
is a win-win for everybody.”
For more information contact:
Senator Rice's Office: (405) 521-5610