City vehicles fueled by natural gas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

City vehicles fueled by natural gas

 About 20 of Tyler's city-owned vehicles will now run on compressed natural gas (CNG). 

The city built a CNG fueling station through several grants. One of those grants is from EOG Resources in Tyler. 

City officials say their long term goal is to make the CNG station open to the public. 

You won't find many CNG stations around. It's the first CNG pump in Tyler. We're told it's also the first of its kind in East Texas.

At a $1.49 a gallon, the city says CNG can cut their fuel expenses in half for about 20 city trucks. 

Fleet manager Russ Jackson says getting the CNG pump took about a year and a half. He says it also took research. 

"I mean I am very skeptical about things until I really see it in action and the more we got into it, we found this is the direction we want to go," said Jackson. 

A map at cngprices.com shows only six in operation in the DFW Metroplex. As you travel east you don't see any until you crossover to the Louisiana border, where five are in operation. 
     
Jackson says the CNG pump could be America's ticket out of relying on imported oil.

"Buying American, for one thing, getting us off the dependency off foreign oil," said Jackson. 

For years, natural gas drilling has been a controversial topic in Washington. Jackson says for him and the city of Tyler, it's about finding alternatives before America's energy resources run out. 

"Myself and I know the others haven't even looked at it as a political thing," said Jackson. "We support the idea of buying American, no doubt. This is just something that I think will help save the citizens money in the sense of taxes. It's going to save energy, in a sense. It's going to put out less pollution."

And at least for the city trucks, those savings could start right away.

In time, the city plans to convert Tyler Police patrol cars to natural gas.

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