New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) received the green light on Monday to spend $10 million to build five to seven compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations in central New Jersey over the next year.
“We have an opportunity to help grow our economy and protect our environment by encouraging the market for alternative fuel vehicles, and that’s good for New Jersey and our future,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of NJNG.
The use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) provides consumers with a cost effective and environmentally friendly choice for transportation. Not only does CNG reduce fuel costs between 30 and 50 percent, but according to the American Gas Association, NGVs produce up to 30 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel.
Unfortunately, NGVs have been confined mostly to public agencies and businesses due to the lack of refueling infrastructure. Beginning immediately, the pilot program will identify companies in Monmouth, Ocean, and Morris counties that currently use or plan to use NGVs to host refueling stations. NJNG will build and maintain the stations, while the selected companies will be required to allow the public to use at least 20 percent of the natural gas.
The United States spends $1.1 billion per day on oil imported from other nations and the transportation sector is the single largest contributor to our oil demand. Using our domestic abundance of clean, affordable natural gas as a transportation fuel will increase our nation’s energy security by reducing our dependence on these nations and enable us to spend that money here at home.