Could CNG Vehicles Hurt Oklahoma Roads, Down the Road?

  • Joe Wertz

When it comes to natural gas, Oklahoma lawmakers and corporate leaders are aggressive drivers.

The Sooner State is big on CNG-fueled cars and trucks, which have fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their gasoline and diesel-powered counterparts. CNG vehicles also run on a commodity that is currently abundant, cheap and domestically produced — in Oklahoma and by Oklahoma companies.

But natural gas and gasoline have another key difference: taxes. Gasoline taxes help pay for state roads and bridges, so what does a CNG future mean for road funding? It’s a potential problem, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports:

Oklahoma Energy Secretary Mike Ming said the question of road taxes will need to be addressed at some point, but that it’s not much of an issue today.

“The reality is that it is going to take some time just to get enough vehicles built to make a difference,” Ming said. “When that happens, I think public policymakers will say, ‘We addressed imports and national security and balance of trade. Now we need to address how we fund roads and bridges.’”