Oklahoma Tribe Sees Compressed Natural Gas As 'Fuel Of The Future'

Wednesday, January 22nd 2014, 10:15 pm

The number of compressed natural gas stations is growing in Green Country and around Oklahoma.

The Muscogee-Creek Nation is looking to get into the clean fuel business.

With more than 90 compressed natural gas stations statewide, Muscogee Creek Nation Chief George Tiger thinks CNG may be the fuel of the future.

"You look at the oil industry and the gas industry, that's part of the Indian people's culture, here in Oklahoma especially, so I think we're kind of going back to what's been part of our culture as to use the natural resources that are available to us," Tiger said.

For the past year, the tribe has been working on plans to build several CNG stations throughout its 11 county jurisdiction.

"We have some property that's in some ideal locations; along Highway 75, along I-40 and along Highway 69," said Tiger.

But the first station would go up along Highway 51 in Mannford. Right now, the tribe is working out a partnership with the city so the two could split the profits.

The going rate for CNG is between $1.40 and $1.75 per gallon, and Tulsa Gas Technologies President, Tom Sewell said that cheap fuel will entice people, and businesses, to pack up and move out of the big city.

"They'll put conversion centers in. People will move up here because they can drive to Tulsa for $3.00 or they can drive to Stillwater for $3.00," Sewell said.

The economic boost and savings is getting other cities interested.

Adriane Jaynes, Tulsa Area Clean Cities Co-Coordinator of INCOG talked with a group Wednesday about a $300,000 federal grant that will help local government agencies and school districts convert their fleets to CNG; or to help cities build stations of their own.

"Just about every month we have a new station being built or coming online or signing contracts.

Compressed natural gas is said to not only burn much cleaner than traditional gasoline or diesel, but Sewell said it also helps reduce the state's dependency on foreign fuels.

"The best part of it all is, all the equipment is built in Oklahoma and all of the gas comes from Oklahoma," said Sewell.

To learn more about the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding grant click HERE.