The Department of Environmental Protection plans to hold seminars across the state for public and private entities to learn how to convert their fleets to compressed natural gas, or liquefied natural gas. The price of natural gas at the pump is about one-third the price of gasoline. But fueling stations are few and far between in the state. The Corbett Administration wants to expand the number of natural gas vehicles on the road, and has established a $20 million grant fund to encourage businesses and municipalities to do so. Revenue from the impact fee will fund the conversions through the Natural Gas Energy Development Program. Corbett says more natural gas cars on the road means more drilling in Pennsylvania.
“The more we create demand for the natural gas,” said Corbett at a June press conference, “hopefully we’ll see that cost of dry natural gas go up some, so that [energy companies] continue to drill.”
A glut in natural gas, created by the rapid expansion of shale gas production, has sent the price of natural gas to a ten-year low.
DEP Secretary Michael Krancer also says there’s an environmental incentive to encourage conversions, which “take advantage of an abundant, clean-burning and inexpensive fuel found right here in Pennsylvania.”
The seminars will serve two purposes, one to inform participants, and the other to get feedback about how the grant program could be most useful.