WASHINGTON, June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Background: America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) President and CEO Regina Hopper issued the following statement congratulating 16 mayors who will receive American Lung Association awards for steps they have taken to clean their air through investment in clean vehicles. Many of the mayors have purchased natural gas vehicles to curb air pollution in their cities. ANGA is the sponsor of the American Lung Association awards dinner June 10 and the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, both in Oklahoma City.
"We congratulate the 16 mayors and applaud the American Lung Association for highlighting important steps that must be taken to assure the air is clean in communities across our nation. Many of these Clean Vehicle Champions have demonstrated that it is possible to reduce pollution substantially by employing natural gas vehicles.
"We also are honored to sponsor the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, understanding that it is the city leaders who will be the ones making bold commitments to run their fleets in a cleaner, smarter way by using natural gas vehicles. In addition to cities, companies like AT&T, UPS and Ryder also have been switching to natural gas vehicles to cut their pollution output.
"Natural gas is substantially cleaner than diesel fuel for trucks and buses and coal used in power plants and the American Lung Association has found that cutting emissions from both sources can reduce health effects from energy use. The United States is blessed with a vast supply of natural gas, thanks to new discoveries in shale formations across the country. That ensures a stable supply of the fuel for many generations to come."
ANGA Supports American Lung Association's Clean Vehicle Champions
The American Lung Association has a new ally in the natural gas industry. America's Natural Gas Alliance is sponsoring a reception in which the Lung Association will award 16 mayors as Clean Vehicle Champions. The reception is being held in connection with the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting this week in Oklahoma City, which ANGA also is sponsoring.
When we talk about taking action to improve our environment, we tend to focus on Washington. But when it comes to promoting green transportation and clean air, quite often it's our nation's mayors who are taking the wheel and bringing real leadership to communities.
ANGA has prepared a best practices book on actions that cities all over America have taken to reduce their emissions of toxic pollutants by using natural gas vehicles and ANGA President and Chief Executive Officer Regina Hopper has taped a video on mayors and the benefits of natural gas use. She also will be making remarks at the American Lung Association reception.
Natural gas vehicles will be on display at the exhibit hall and Steven J. Malcolm, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Companies and vice chairman of ANGA is speaking at the Mayors conference on Saturday, June 12.
Natural Gas Vehicles on the Rise
While the United States imports more than 60 percent of the oil it uses, 98 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. is produced in North America. Every gallon equivalent of natural gas used in vehicles is one less gallon of petroleum that has to be imported, helping our national security. And every natural gas waste collection truck that is employed takes the equivalent of 325 cars off the road.
- There are about 110,000 NGVs on U.S. roads today and more than 11 million worldwide.
- Natural gas costs, on average, one-third less than conventional gasoline at the pump.
- Industry data shows that vehicular natural gas nearly doubled between 2003 and 2009, now displacing more than 300 million diesel gallon equivalents.
- The American Public Transit Association (APTA) says 27 percent of transit bus orders in 2008 were for natural gas and about 18 percent of transit buses run on natural gas.
- Waste collection and transfer vehicles, which account for about 11 percent of total vehicular natural gas use, are the fastest growing NGV segment, APTA says.
- More than 35 airports in the U.S. have natural gas vehicles in their own fleets.
Replacing a typical older in-use vehicle with a new NGV provides the following reductions in exhaust emissions of:
- Carbon monoxide (CO) by between 70 percent and 90 percent
- Non-methane organic gas (NMOG) by between 50 percent and 75 percent
- Nitrogen oxides (NOx) by between 75 percent and 95 percent
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) by between 20 percent and 30 percent
The Energy Department last year made available some $300 million in grants for the Clean Cities program. Much of that money went to cities that would deploy natural gas vehicles and fueling stations.
Natural Gas Power Plants Can Help Clean the Air too
In addition to the groundbreaking advance in natural gas vehicles, natural gas can play a larger role in clean energy from power plants. On April 19, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed into law the Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act. This landmark legislation has unified lawmakers from both parties, as well as members of both the energy and environmental communities.
- Xcel Energy, a leading provider of electricity in the state will retire or retrofit older coal-fired power plants along the Front Range (a non-attainment area) and increase its use of clean energy alternatives, including natural gas.
- This move is expected to reduce by 80% the amount of harmful NOx emissions over the next eight years — likely sooner.
- Colorado also will add to the more than 130,000 jobs already supported by natural gas.
The American Lung Association has criticized coal fired power plants finding that they are among the largest contributors to air pollution. "The EPA should immediately take action to reduce emissions and expand clean-up requirements for power plants nationwide," the Lung Association concluded in its 2010 State of the Air report.
America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) represents 34 of North America's leading independent natural gas exploration and production companies. ANGA members are dedicated to increasing the appreciation of the environmental, economic and national security benefits of clean, abundant, North American natural gas. Learn more about ANGA at http://www.anga.us.
SOURCE America's Natural Gas Alliance