Oklahoma is an undisputed leader in the energy industry. We are the fourth-largest natural gas producing state in the country, the fifth-largest oil producing state, and the sixth-largest state for wind power.
   
  The natural gas industry is driving economic growth. Natural gas production supports 2.8 million domestic jobs and adds $385 billion to our economy annually. Further development could add another 1.4 million jobs by 2035.
 
  Hobart got its first garbage truck powered by compressed natural gas, thanks to a series of grants. This is a smart switch.
   
  If compressed natural gas is indeed the vehicle fuel of the future, Columbus is just ahead of the curve. As of last week, the city’s Northland area is home to the largest publicly accessible CNG station in the Midwest.
 
  As temperatures in New England dropped to historic lows last winter, many residents found their energy costs going up. It is a scenario that could happen in years to come without increased infrastructure to bring more natural gas to consumers in this area
   
  While much of the progress toward a sustainable energy future has been driven by governments and the renewable energy industry, individual companies can also play a role promoting sustainability.
 
   
       
   
       
 
     
 
  Once again, energy has vaulted to the top of the agenda in Washington, D.C. Too bad it has nothing to do with Congress or the administration showing any leadership on getting America an energy plan for the first time in 40 years.
   
  Natural gas and many other potential vehicle fuels are Wyoming products. And like the oil also produced here, such fuels can be used to power vehicles.
 
  The American love affair with big, powerful, gasoline-powered vehicles has kept interest in cars powered by compressed natural gas tamped down, but there is evidence that we are changing.
   
  FortisBC is undertaking a $400-million expansion of our Tilbury facility with the aim to be operational by 2016. Natural gas for transportation is a major reason behind this expansion.
 
  The county’s possible foray into compressed natural gas in its fleet vehicles doesn’t seem to have a downside. Commissioners voted this week to fund the design of a new public works facility at the current site.
   
  The topic of the week at the Four Corners Oil and Gas Conference was the potential of the Mancos Shale Formation where a handful of companies are exploring for oil and finding positive signs.
 
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