Clean cities coalition is an Oklahoma success story
 

   This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Central Oklahoma Clean Cities Coalition. It was established by the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG), in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Energy Office and the U.S. Department of Energy, with a primary goal to advance the use of alternative fuels in vehicle fleets across the state.

   At the time, there were only two public compressed natural gas stations in Oklahoma City. There were no electric vehicle recharging stations for public use, and CNG and propane were used in relatively few fleets.

   Today, the coalition thrives. Thanks to stakeholders OnCue Express, Love's and other fuel providers, there's a CNG station for the public on every 100 miles of Oklahoma interstate and many more CNG stations in the works. We have more than 50 propane refueling stations and 39 electric vehicle chargers as well as 14 ethanol stations.

   The coalition has been sustained since the beginning by partnerships with Oklahoma Natural Gas and Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. The coalition is strengthened by the support of ACOG members, including nearly 50 central Oklahoma towns, cities and counties. Clean Cities is part of ACOG's strategy to enhance the regional transportation system for 1.1 million central Oklahoma residents.

   Together with private-sector stakeholders, the coalition has pioneered a long list of projects. Their contributions have led to quantifiable air quality improvements in our region and greater energy security for Oklahoma and the nation. Since 2009, Clean Cities stakeholders have displaced 18 million gallons of petroleum.

   For 20 years, we've seen how increased use of domestic fuels like natural gas, propane, electricity and biofuel supports economic growth in Oklahoma. For example, driving a natural gas vehicle supports Oklahoma jobs from the well to the wheel, from production to fueling station equipment manufacturing to vehicle conversions.

   Clean Cities is an Oklahoma success story. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this month, we do so in remembrance of the Oklahomans who established the program in 1996, and those stakeholders who have faithfully served for two decades. Their contributions formed a firm foundation that will continue to serve the central Oklahoma region well in the years to come.

   To learn more about alternative fuel vehicles, fueling stations near you, or to get information about our stakeholders' alternative fuel and fuel efficiency projects, visit okcleancities.org or twitter.com/OKCleanCities.

 

By Eric Pollard, Clean Cities coordinator for the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments.

NewsOK.com

January 29, 2016