West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has appointed the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), a program of West Virginia University, to the Governor’s Natural Gas Vehicle Transition Team.
This appointment was recommended as part of the Governor’s Natural Gas Task Force final report, released in February of this year. In the report, the Task Force urged that the NAFTC—along with representatives from the Division of Highways, Energy, Tax, Fleet Management, Purchasing, the Governor’s Office, and Board of Education—form a Natural Gas Vehicle Transition Team.
The Transition Team will review agency plans to accomplish Gov. Tomblin’s call to have 25% of the state fleet fueled by natural gas in four years. They will hear presentations of innovative ideas to maximize the state’s return on investment by using natural gas.
The Task Force also recommended the NAFTC be used as an educational resource for the Community and Technical College system of West Virginia, expanding the workforce by training natural gas vehicle (NGV) technicians. It also suggested that the NAFTC work with the WV Division of Energy to provide education to state employees about purchasing and maintaining NGVs. In addition, the Task Force cited the NAFTC’s Clean Cities Learning Program Curricula, funded by the United States Department of Energy Clean Cities Initiative, as a resource in composing the report.
“The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium is thrilled to be a part of the Governor’s Natural Gas Transition Team for the state of West Virginia,” said Bill Davis, Acting Director of the NAFTC. “The recommendations of the Natural Gas Task Force emphasize that the NAFTC is highly-regarded for the world-class curricula and training it produces in West Virginia. And the NAFTC is ready to help ensure that its home state of West Virginia is successful in this undertaking.”
The Governor’s Natural Gas Vehicle Task Force 21 member team, comprised of public and private industry experts, was established in June 2012. The team assessed the feasibility of transiting the state’s vehicle fleet to natural gas as a fuel source and developing an infrastructure to support compressed natural gas vehicles.
“West Virginia is blessed with abundant natural resources,” said Gov. Tomlin. “With our state being one of the leading producers of natural gas in the nation, it is important for us to explore the feasibility of using this resource to fuel our state’s transportation needs.”
Gov. Tomblin spoke at the first Appalachian Basin Natural Gas Expo in Charleston, WV>
In their final report, the Task Force recommended:
transitioning a portion of the state’s vehicle fleet to natural gas and transitioning the state bus fleet to propane
increasing the maximum amount of a tax credit allowed for building natural gas fueling infrastructure to $400,000
encouraging the private sector to develop a communications strategy to educate the public on the benefits of natural gas vehicles
“We have the opportunity to reinvest in our own economy, provide drivers with lower costs at the pump as well as support the establishment of more good-paying jobs for West Virginians—all by using a clean burning energy source harvested right here at home,” Gov. Tomblin said. “The Task Force’s recommendations include my recently introduced alternative fuel tax credit legislation. I will continue to work with legislators, and other stakeholders, to make the most of this opportunity.”
The complete Task Force report is available through Gov. Tomblin’s website, www.governor.wv.gov..