Commissioner David Porter Hosts Third NGV Workshop in Laredo
AUSTIN - Railroad Commissioner David Porter hosted the third workshop in a series of statewide events today in Laredo for area fleet managers and oil field operators to discuss how they can save money and increase the market for Texas natural gas, as part of his initiative to promote natural gas as a transportation fuel in Texas.
"Growing the market for natural gas vehicles helps sustain and expand good-paying jobs in the oil patch and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions," Commissioner Porter said. "In the past year, employment in the oil and gas sector in Texas grew more than five percent, allowing Texas to continue to lead the nation in job creation. This workshop is intended to help more fleet managers and oil field operators make the transition to natural gas, both to save money and keep generating good-paying jobs for Texans."
These workshops are designed to be working sessions, at which participants have the unique opportunity to engage experts in a dialogue regarding perceived barriers and opportunities associated with converting to natural gas vehicles in Texas. Panels consisting of area transportation directors and oil field operators who are already using natural gas presented their experiences and discussed advantages and challenges. State Senator Judith Zaffirini and State Representative Jason Isaac participated in a panel discussion on current and possible future rules and regulations designed to help increase use of Texas natural gas.
"Natural gas is one of the most common forms of energy used today," said City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas. "Overall, the benefits of using natural gas include lower fuel costs, increased performance and dramatic emissions reductions. With the high costs of fuel, this is an important project that will save money not only for the City of Laredo, but the taxpayers, as well. Additionally, Webb County is one of the biggest producers of natural gas and we should use our own fuel to reduce the foreign oil dependency."
The City of Laredo is a leader among Texas cities with a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fleet, which includes 71 vehicles that utilize CNG; 28 of those are El Metro buses and the rest are made up of cars and trucks from various City departments. Additionally, the City of Laredo has upgraded its existing CNG refueling facility, which is open to the City of Laredo, private businesses and, most importantly, open to the general public for purchase at a distinctly lower price than gasoline or diesel. The cost saving for the City of Laredo using the CNG is about $200,000 per year.
The workshop today was held at the Uni-Trade Stadium in Laredo from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Presentations from today's workshop will be available to view online at: http://altenergy.rrc.texas.gov/Alternative_Fuels_Events
David J. Porter was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission on November 2, 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Commissioner Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He has a long record of pro-business, free market, conservative credentials.