ONG Blazes Trail
Oklahoma Natural Gas Company blazes CNG trail in Oklahoma
Honored with the 2010 Central Oklahoma Clean Cities Zach D. Taylor, Jr. Vision Award for Regional Alternative Fuels Leadership in the Private Sector, Oklahoma Natural Gas Company’s natural gas vehicle program actually stretches back to 1970. That early natural gas fleet was the starting point for what has become one of the nation’s most well-developed, statewide, compressed natural gas refueling networks. By opening its service center refueling sites to the public in the early 1990s, ONG paved the way for the adoption of natural gas vehicles by Oklahoma government and industry fleets, as well as private citizens.
Practicing what it preached, ONG consistently ranked at the top of Natural Gas Fuels magazine’s list of 100 largest gas utilities in North America in the number alternative fuel vehicles in its fleet. Today, the company saves millions of dollars annually by using compressed natural gas in approximately 600 vehicles –more than half its total fleet. Burning more than 1 million gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG annually in these high-mileage vehicles significantly reduces smog-forming emissions, as well as preventing more than two tons of CO2 emissions annually.
ONG’s early lease/purchase program was a ground breaker that became the envy of many states and Clean Cities coalitions. The program allowed municipalities and tax-exempt entities to take advantage of some of the cost saving incentives available to private industry for the purchase of CNG vehicles and refueling equipment. In fact, it was ONG’s lease/purchase program that added significant momentum to the adoption of “clean-burning natural gas” as a transportation fuel in Oklahoma. Many of the early successes and continuing successes of the Central Oklahoma Clean Cities program can be attributed to Oklahoma Natural Gas Company.
In 2010, Oklahoma Natural Gas received an Economic Development Partnership Recognition Program award from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. ONG received the recognition for their technical assistance and guidance in the establishment of a CNG education program at Oklahoma City Community College. The Partnership Recognition Program is designed to recognize outstanding partnerships that lead to significant contributions in furthering the education of Oklahoma’s workforce. ONG provided OCCC the information and the required knowledge to explore and establish a CNG program on campus. This program has now gained national attention in both license requirement training and installation of CNG conversion equipment in vehicles. Students also have the opportunity to intern with ONG to gain experience and certification as CNG technicians. Additionally, several program graduates have been hired to work at Oklahoma Natural Gas.
Oklahoma Natural Gas Company was honored by the U.S. Department of Energy as a Clean Cities National Partner in 2002 and has been a Central Oklahoma Clean Cities stakeholder since 1995.
Accepting the 2010 Zach D. Taylor, Jr. Clean Cities Vision Award for Private Sector Alternative Fuel Leadership on behalf of ONG was Rick Grundman, Vice President , Administration; Brad Ballard, Director, Division Customer Service; and Brian Sudol, Manager , Key Accounts and Market Development.