Utah State Sen. Scott Jenkins recently introduced legislation that would require at least 50% of the state government's passenger-vehicle fleet to be running on natural gas by July 2018.
The bill, S.B.99, targets the conversion of no fewer than 1,511 vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG) over a four-year period. Approximately $2.13 million annually, beginning in fiscal-year 2015, will need to be channeled into the program, but annual fuel-cost savings of about $1.4 million annually – based on the prices of gasoline/diesel and CNG today – will be realized once the transition has been made.
Jenkins' legislation would call upon Utah's division of fleet operations to spearhead the natural gas vehicle initiative, from covering all administrative functions and procuring NGVs to setting up NGV maintenance operations and coordinating a CNG fuel-dispensing services program for state vehicles.
Utah has one of the most active NGV markets in the U.S., due in large part to a relatively strong CNG station network. There are more than 40 public-access natural gas refueling sites in the state, with a heavy concentration around Salt Lake City and along Interstate 15.
Jenkins' bill is currently in the earliest stages of the legislative process. Most of the Utah legislature's work for the 2014 session, however, will be complete by the end of March.