For Immediate Release:
February 28, 2008
Sen. Andrew Rice
Energy Saving Fleet Conversion Gets Senate Attention
State Senator Andrew
Rice’s effort to convert most of the state government
vehicle fleets to compressed natural gas (CNG) was temporarily derailed
by Senate Republicans in floor action today, Rice said.
Rice was attempting to add his conversion proposal to a bill (SB
1604) by State Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City, that directs the
Secretary of Energy to create a state energy policy.
“Any Oklahoma energy plan should logically include efforts
to cut energy costs for taxpayers, better utilize Oklahoma natural
resources and reduce hydrocarbon emissions that accelerate global
warming,” Rice said. “It’s a win-win for our state.”
After Rice fielded a series of questions from his colleagues regarding
his amendment during Thursday morning’s session and it appeared
to have broad support, Myers asked that his bill be “laid
over” for consideration at a later time.
“I’m disappointed but not deterred,” Rice said.
“I can’t imagine why anyone would object to saving taxpayer
dollars by using Oklahoma-based fuels that are environmentally sound.
I plan to reach out to Senator Myers to find a way to bring this
issue before the Senate again.”
Earlier this year, Rice introduced SB 1771, which would require
the 35 state agencies with at least ten vehicles in their fleet
to either purchase vehicles that utilize compressed natural gas
or convert existing vehicles to CNG in order to increase fuel efficiency
by 50 percent before June, 2012.
During this morning’s Senate debate, Rice said that other
states and municipalities have reported fuel cost savings from 25%
to 50% after converting to CNG. He also noted its bipartisan support.
State Rep. Weldon Watson, R-Tulsa, has introduced similar legislation
in the House.
For more information contact:
Senator Rice's Office: (405) 521-5610