On Friday, September 30, River Valley Transit (RVT), in collaboration with the CNG Focus Group, hosted the kick-off to their RVT CNG Project Sponsorship Program, “Let’s Build a CNG Station,” at the Genetti Hotel in conjunction with T. Boone Pickens’ visit to Williamsport. The theme of the day was consistent: US energy independence and the utilization of our American natural gas resources for transportation. Energy In Depth and ANGA (America’s Natural Gas Alliance) also provided information at the day’s events.
According to Pickens, domestically produced natural gas can fuel a second industrial revolution that can revitalize our nation’s economy. Williamsport, as the seventh fastest growing metropolitan area in the US*, is experiencing this revitalization in terms of economic development and job creation because of the Marcellus Shale Play.
“Using compressed natural gas (CNG) to fuel city buses – and building a CNG fueling station in downtown Williamsport – symbolizes the benefits of natural gas production in our region. They are part of the process of using natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to reduce people’s heating costs and electricity rates, to attract new industries, and to enhance our area’s appeal as a great place to live, work, and invest” Dr. Arthur Sterngold, Professor of Business, Lycoming College.
“Let’s Build a CNG Station” sponsorship program reaches out to the natural gas industry with an opportunity for them to showcase their commitment to the community, and help provide the infrastructure necessary to move towards US energy independence. This includes industry sponsors and fueling partners – fleets that want to convert to CNG and need a place to fuel. RVT intends to build a CNG fueling station and convert its own bus fleet to CNG over the next decade. With additional sponsorship from the natural gas industry and community, RVT will be able to build a larger station to accommodate more CNG demand.
“As we know, natural gas is abundant, domestic, clean, and is an affordable alternative to diesel and gasoline. As a commitment to utilizing our resources in a sustainable, responsible manner, CNG at RVT decreases our dependence on foreign oil, and improves our air quality. By adding CNG fuel at RVT our resources stay in the region, and therefore benefit the citizens of our community,” said Bill Nichols, General Manager, River Valley Transit.
The RVT CNG Project offers a unique project that can serve to spearhead natural gas utilization for transportation in our region. A national movement is created one community at a time.
“We have to seed the market with CNG stations. Natural Gas for Vehicles has the potential to be the most important sweeping infrastructure and economic development booster since the Lincoln Highway,” said Aron Lantz, Larson Design Group.
“We are committed to leading our region into an economic, social, and environmentally-sustainable future fueled by the Marcellus Shale Play,” said Brittany McLaughlin, Larson Design Group. “This is our effort to involve the industry and the community in the RVT CNG Project.”
In April 2011, the CNG Focus Group held an education day to begin its mission: to foster learning, collaboration & action on CNG vehicle fueling and infrastructure as it relates to the Marcellus Shale. With every gallon of gasoline or diesel we displace, our dependence on foreign oil decreases, our domestic security and prosperity increases, and our air quality improves.
CNG Focus Group currently has 190+ members including RVT, trucking companies, community leaders, interested citizens, government officials, Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission members, Williamsport School District, Pennsylvania College of Technology, E & P companies, Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, PA DEP, utilities, Clean Vehicle Education Foundation, Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities, Energy In Depth, ANGA and other affiliates.