With abundant natural gas supply in the state
Gov. Tomblin orders study to push the conversion of West Virginia’s public fleet
According to the governor’s chief of staff Rob Alsop, Earl Ray Tomblin will issue an executive order to evaluate switching at least part of the state's vehicle fleet from gasoline and diesel to natural gas. The cost-benefit analysis also aims to promote NGVs among the public. The resulting task force is expected to include top executives from gas producers and companies with such relevant holdings as fueling stations.
"He thinks that given the price of natural gas and what looks like the long term development of the Marcellus Shale, this can become a resource for our fleet instead of depending on oil," said Alsop, as reported by The Associated Press
. "It could help with job creation and lowering transportations costs in the state."
Furthermore, Phil Reale of the state's Independent Oil and Gas Association, among those asked to join the task force, stated: "We're interested in demonstrating that we can improve our nation's energy security, hopefully by converting at least part of the vehicular fleet in this country, starting here in West Virginia."
Tomblin is also among the 13 governors who appealed to automakers in an April 27 letter
to help them shift their fleets. West Virginia has been part of the multi-state push to encourage natural gas vehicles since at least January, when Tomblin announced a cooperative agreement during his State of the State address. "It makes sense to start using fuels for our cars and buses that we produce right here in West Virginia," he said in that speech.