Compressing natural gas looking bright for Nacogdoches County

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - One way to cope with rising gasoline prices is to go to another source of energy.

Compressed natural gas may be the answer.

This week the state announced $4.5 million dollars in grants to help establish natural gas vehicle fueling stations near some interstate highways.

Rising fuel prices are concerning lots of people, including entities filling up fleets of gas guzzling vehicles.

"We're hearing rumors that it could be up to $5 a gallon by August. Then the court has to do its due diligence," said Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English.

The answer could well be to convert vehicles to run off of compressed natural gas.

"Nacogdoches County spent $620,000 last year in gas, so if there's any thing we can do to cut that figure back any, it's certainly a cost savings to us," said English.

"When you look just a the city sanitation department the savings would be about $100,000 a year," said Jim Jeffers, Nacogdoches City Manager.

The city and county are talking about sharing the cost of constructing about a half a million dollar cng fueling station.

Converting to compressed natural gas doesn't mean the diesel fuel tank will go totally away, but it certainly won't be utilized as much.

"I think initially a lot of these will run off of both gas, diesel, and compressed natural gas," said Jeffers.

EXCO, the company seeking out natural gas in East Texas has converted to CNG in other locations.

It's anxious to help out for themselves and other public sales.

"A potential revenue source for us and also to allow the public to experience that savings," said Jeffers.

The up and down fluctuation of fuel prices anger consumers.

Stable fuel costs may be obtained once CNG catches on.

Compressed natural gas doesn't increase mileage, but it's significantly cheaper.

Also tax credits, grants and other incentives are surfacing.

In about 45 days, the feasibility study for the collaboration should be ready to present to the county commission and city council.

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