Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin that is designed to increase the use of natural gas vehicles in each state's fleet. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett have also signed on to the agreement.
The MOU (linked) calls for joint solicitation of a Multi-State Request for Proposal that aggregates annual fleet vehicle procurements. The states involved anticipate this effort will provide a demand base sufficient to support the design, manufacture and sale of functional and affordable natural gas vehicle by automotive manufacturers in the United States.
This effort in Colorado is being led by the Governor's Energy Office, which is working on adopting natural gas as a component of the state's clean energy portfolio for transportation fuels.
"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."
"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 asking car manufacturers to partner with us to bring an affordable 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."
In anticipation of soliciting a Joint-RFP, the MOU says, the states involved will endeavor to coordinate with local agencies, municipalities and companies to determine the number of natural gas vehicles each state can commit to purchase and the required specifications necessary to meet fleet needs.
The Joint-RFP requires that the ultimate cost of adding natural gas vehicles to the fleet should be comparably priced to an equivalent gasoline powered model and that warranty and reliability concerns are not compromised. States will also encourage private investment to meet growing demand for natural gas vehicles and pursue continued development and expansion of a natural gas fueling infrastructure.
The MOU says future vehicle acquisitions should, when economically feasible, rely on traditional distribution channels that incorporate local businesses in procurement processes. No date has been determined for when the Joint-RFP will be executed.
"With Colorado having an abundance of natural gas it only makes sense that this state is in the forefront of promoting market development that will encourage jobs, economic development and energy security" said state Rep. Randy Baumgardner. "I look forward to working with the Governor's Energy Office on this initiative."
Govs. Hickenlooper and Fallin have solicited the participation of all of the nation's governors in a letter sent last week and anticipate this partnership will continue to grow.