(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) - Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin today announced a new initiative launched jointly with Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado designed to increase the use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in state automobile fleets. Other states, including Wyoming and Pennsylvania have also signed onto the agreement. Additional states have also been invited to join.
Each participating governor signed onto a Memorandum of Understanding (see attached MOU) circulated by Fallin and Hickenlooper stating a desire to purchase functional and affordable NGVs for use in state fleets.
The MOU lays the groundwork for the formation of a Multi-State Request for Proposal, where the states would prepare a formal request to automobile manufacturers to design an NGV and sell it in bulk to participating states. The goal of participating states is to target 5,000 fleet NGV purchases per year, thus establishing the demand and incentive for a car manufacturer in the U.S. to design and sell a suitable natural gas sedan that will also meet public demand.
Fallin said the announcement gives participating states a lead role in shaping energy policy.
"This MOU ensures that Oklahoma, Colorado and other likeminded states are taking the lead to support the next frontier of American-made energy: natural gas vehicles," Fallin said. "States have tens of thousands of fleet automobiles, and by partnering with car manufacturers to bring an affordable and functional NGV to market, we're helping to develop the products and infrastructure for cleaner, more cost-effective transportation. This initiative has the potential to be a true ‘game changer' for both the automobile industry and the energy industry. I'm proud to join Governor Hickenlooper and others in an effort that will support job creation and bolster both our national security and economic security by promoting American-made energy."
Fallin made the announcement in Oklahoma at the Governor's Energy Conference in Oklahoma City. The MOU is one of the first steps in a comprehensive statewide energy plan released jointly by Fallin and Oklahoma Secretary of Energy Michael Ming.
Hickenlooper also unveiled the new initiative at an event today in Colorado.
"Aggregating state and local vehicle purchases is a common sense way to close the price gap between traditional and alternative fuel vehicles," Hickenlooper said. "We are happy to participate in this partnership with Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and other governors across the country. Developing markets for vehicles that run on natural gas - an abundant domestic fuel - can help reduce dependence on foreign oil, enhance air quality and showcase how states are leading by example to help tackle the complex energy challenges that our country faces."
Fallin Presents "Oklahoma First" Energy Plan
Also at the Governor's Energy Conference, Fallin presented the "Oklahoma First" Energy Plan, a comprehensive blue print for the state's energy future.
The plan focuses on enhancing the production of traditional fossil fuels like oil and natural gas while complementing their use with renewable sources of energy like wind power.
Go to www.governor.ok.gov to download the complete plan.
Goals of the Oklahoma First Energy Plan include:
Creating more jobs in Oklahoma, and expanding our economy
· Increasing the production of reliable and affordable energy
· Building new markets for Oklahoma natural gas
· Leading the transition in transportation fuels to reduce dependence on foreign oil
· Leveraging Oklahoma's energy resources to make the energy system smarter and more efficient, and protecting the environment and the health of our citizens in the process
· Solidifying Oklahoma's position as an energy research leader
Key strategies for achieving those include:
The development of a multistate initiative to increase NGVs in state automobile fleets
· Continued and aggressive support for the development of the Keystone XL Pipeline
· Supporting safe hydraulic fracturing and supporting the public disclosure of chemicals used in the process
· Implementing a new energy efficiency initiative in state buildings and supporting energy efficiency initiatives in the private sector
· Supporting energy-specific education initiatives to help improve workforce development
· Continuing to increase all forms of energy production in Oklahoma, including natural gas, oil, and wind-power in Oklahoma
· Connecting returning veterans to jobs in the energy industry
· Expanding and enhancing electric transmission in Oklahoma though projects such as Clean Line