(KCPW News) The Utah House Transportation Committee passed a resolution this morning urging the federal government to help increase the number of compressed natural gas filling stations. Rep. Jack Draxler said he's usually opposed to such resolutions, but found no other option to get the less polluting fuel on the market.
"Short of creating some sort of state agency that would replace the EPA, and do it for the state, this is the only solution I could come up with," Draxler says.
His resolution calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to streamline the certification process for those who make and install CNG conversion kits, and urges the creation of more private-public partnerships to increase the number of refueling stations in the state.
Most of the state's CNG filling stations are along the Wasatch Front and the St. George area. Garfield County Engineer Brian Bremmer said he supports the resolution, but thinks it doesn't go far enough to address the need in rural areas. He said the federal government would probably welcome an improved natural gas network near the public lands it's charged to protect. Bremmer said the large fleet of federal and state vehicles running on natural gas would help maintain good air quality in the state's many national parks.
"Living in a county that's 93 percent federal land, I understand the concept of nudging the federal government. I also understand the efficacy of such moves," Bremmer says.
The bill passed unanimously in the House Transportation Committee and now moves to the House floor for further debate. Learn more about the bill.