Conference News

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An Armstrong County oil and gas producer is keeping pace with a growing trend in the alternative fuel industry with its recent opening of a compressed natural gas fueling station at 90 Glade Drive in East Franklin.

“This is a new thing,” said John Rupp, project manager for Snyder Brothers of East Franklin. “We're open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”...

...The cost of converting a conventional light-duty vehicle costs between $4,000 and $12,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center. Grants are available for businesses or municipalities that want to make the conversion.

Stan Berdell, president of BLX, a Kittanning gas drilling company, said he received a state grant to convert three trucks in his fleet. The grant covered 49 percent of the cost and came out to about $4,900 per vehicle.

“We're very pleased with the performance of our vehicles,” Berdell said. “It's also nice to use a natural resource from around here.”

He noted that there's less worry about running out of fuel while operating the vehicle because it can run on gasoline if there isn't a natural gas fueling station available.

“It's a real nice system,” he said.

The station was financed in part by a grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, Rupp said.

Of the 845 public CNG stations in the country, 34 are scattered throughout Pennsylvania, according to the government's Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Within the past few years, stations have opened in Dayton, Slate Lick, Brookville, Punxsutawney and Pittsburgh. School buses operated by Valley Lines in South Buffalo use CNG buses to transport students to the Freeport Area School District. “It's definitely a growing trend,” said Kevin Barrett, owner of the CNG fueling station at White Oak Farms in Dayton. “It's cost effective and becoming very popular across the country.”... READ FULL STORY

Source: Brigid Beatty, Trib Total Media

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