The Senate unanimously approved a resolution Monday encouraging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue researching and developing new uses for natural gas. State Sen. Earl Garrison authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 9 to help bring awareness to the benefits of natural gas both financially and environmentally, and to urge the federal and state government to make necessary regulatory changes regarding natural gas for the benefit of the nation.
“Oklahoma is one of the top producers of natural gas in the country. For this reason, I think we should be a national leader in natural gas research and development,” said Garrison, D-Muskogee. “We need to develop new vehicles and technologies that use this natural resource and expand the ones we already have so we can stop depending on foreign energy.”
SCR 9 urges the EPA to revise and streamline the natural gas certification requirements for small volume manufacturers as well as waive requirements for recertifying natural gas conversion kits if they have been previously certified for the model of vehicle to be converted, and neither the kit nor the design and specification of the model of vehicle to be converted have substantially changed. It also urges the agency to permit small vehicle manufacturers to include vehicles and engines in a single engine category and provide additional guidance to small volume manufacturers regarding the conversion of older vehicle models.
“We need to change our thinking as a nation and as a state. Every gallon of natural gas we use is one less gallon of petroleum we have to import. It’ll save us money and will also protect the environment since it’s the cleanest burning alternative fuel commercially available today,” said Garrison. “We need Congress to lead the way in the effort to break our dependence on foreign oil by making it easier for manufacturers to produce vehicles that use natural gas like the Honda Civic GX and for companies to be able to convert older vehicles to use this abundant natural resource.”
SCR 9 will now be taken up by the House of Representatives.