BILLINGS, Okla. — The State of Oklahoma honored something it considered “20 years in the making” on June 21 when representatives from OnCue Express, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc., Tulsa Gas Technologies, Oklahoma Natural Gas and Sparq Natural Gas celebrated the fact the state now has a compressed natural gas (CNG) station at every 100 miles along interstate highways.
In 2011, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin presented her Oklahoma First Energy Plan, whose first step was to have a CNG station along every 100 miles along Oklahoma interstates by the end of 2015.
According to OnCue, several retailers worked hard during the past five years to make this goal a reality, including itself, Love’s, Hutch’s C-Stores, B&H Construction, Tulsa Gas Technologies, EZ GO Stores and Domino Express, among others.
“OnCue did not do this alone," Scott Minton, the convenience store retailer’s market development manager, said in his speech, which took place here. “It took the work of many retailers across the state to bring this celebration together. Today, we celebrate this accomplishment as an industry.”
Gov. Fallin added the State of Oklahoma has saved more than $1 million in fuel costs since the government converted much of its fleet to CNG over the last few years. “It takes a diverse public and private partnership team all willing to work hard in order to achieve a bold goal like having a CNG station within every 100 miles on Oklahoma interstates,” she said.
Oklahoma has more CNG sites than any other state in the country, per capita. The renewable fuel, touted to be locally produced and more environmentally friendly than traditional petroleum, has an average price of $1.09 per gallon across the state, reported Oklahoma City-based OnCue.
During the celebration event, OnCue Express CEO Jim Griffith recalled why OnCue built its first modern CNG station in 2009.
“Today is bittersweet for me. Two people were instrumental in our decision to build our first site. Bitter, because one of those people can’t be here today, celebrating with us. [The late former Chesapeake Energy CEO] Aubrey McClendon had a huge impact on our early direction. Aubrey, we miss you," he said. "The sweet part for me is because the second person to impact our direction is sitting here, celebrating with us today. Oklahoma leads the way because of the vision and leadership of our Gov. Fallin.”