Step on the gas

The use of natural-gas-powered vehicles received a boost in Colorado Tuesday, with the announcement by the Colorado Energy Office that a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the state and a variety of local governments and private entities.

It aims to speed up the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, and it makes the development of natural gas fueling stations a priority.

We certainly hope the memorandum has that effect. As we have long argued, converting more of Colorado’s fleet of vehicles to natural gas is beneficial in a number of ways. First, natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than gasoline refined from petroleum, and burning it reduces emissions of chemicals linked to climate change.

Secondly, natural gas is a resource that’s abundantly available in this region. Boosting the market for it will help the economy of much of the state, especially western Colorado.

Finally, converting more vehicles to natural gas will help this country move closer to energy self-sufficiency and make our state’s transportation sector less dependent on a single source of fuel.

Organizations signing the memorandum include several on the Western Slope, such as the city of Grand Junction, the city of Montrose and Roaring Fork Valley Transportation Authority. Also involved are numerous energy businesses and organizations and businesses with large fleets of vehicles.

The memorandum stems in part from Gov. John Hickenlooper’s efforts, with the governors of 15 other states, to accelerate the use of natural gas vehicles and the development of natural gas fueling stations throughout the region.

We applaud all of those involved with developing and signing the memorandum. We hope it produces tangible results quickly, and isn’t just a signed document that is soon forgotten.


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