It was a sun-shiny day. It was the type of day where the Governor of Oklahoma could go outside and pose in front of several Ram trucks as a symbolic gesture on behalf of the State. A large fleet consisting of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) trucks will eventually be operated throughout the State, but March 6, 2013 was marking delivery of the first group.
Governor Fallin was the chairman of a bi-partisan effort representing 22 states that are interested in adding or increasing their fleets of CNG vehicles. CNG is not a new technology but is increasingly becoming more important due to costs. Just as significant is that natural gas is cleaner than regular gasoline or diesel fuel and therefore less polluting of the air. Fallin first announced the project at a 2011 Governors’ Energy Conference. After that, she has continued her ‘clean energy’ efforts, petitioning other states and governors, and well as meeting with automotive manufacturers in Detroit and elsewhere.
RAM, part of the Chrysler Group, is a separate company division, and is the only “original equipment manufacturer” building CNG pickups in North America. Chrysler Group operates a heavy-duty truck plant in Mexico. Compressed Natural Gas helps lessen the environmental impact on greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions.
Present for the ceremony with Governor Mary Fallin were a number of Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials and representatives of Chrysler Group and RAM trucks. Peter Grady, Vice-President of Chrysler’s Network Development and Fleets, presented a set of keys to one of the trucks to Fallin. Grady commented, “Chrysler Group is delighted that we can deliver these unique RAM pickup trucks to Oklahoma and Governor Fallin. She is a steadfast champion in the use of compressed natural gas vehicles in state fleets.”
Because of Governor Fallin’s commitment to clean energy and her nation-wide efforts with other states, 19 other states have signed contracts to supplement their fleets using the new RAM 2500 pickup truck powered by natural gas. Governor Fallin commented, “Converting Oklahoma’s state fleet to CNG will save taxpayers millions of dollars in fuel costs. The use of cleaner-burning CNG fuel is good for the environment.”
John Vance, owner of Vance Motors in Guthrie, Oklahoma assisted in delivering the RAM trucks. Also present for the ceremony was Casey Shell, Director of Operations for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.