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AGNC presents natural gas opportunity

Regional lobby group talks about fueling station in Moffat County

Collin Smith

Other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council:

• Heard from Kate Nowak, Yampa Valley Partners executive director, about the group's upcoming Community Indicators Project.

An upcoming 2009-2010 report will add Rio Blanco County to its coverage, and the group plans to soon launch a new interactive Web site that includes all of the reports information, Nowak said.

• Approved, 6-0, a $4,435 bid from Sirchie Fingerprint Laboratories for Craig Police Department evidence cabinets. It was the low bid submitted.

Other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council:

• Heard from Kate Nowak, Yampa Valley Partners executive director, about the group’s upcoming Community Indicators Project.

An upcoming 2009-2010 report will add Rio Blanco County to its coverage, and the group plans to soon launch a new interactive Web site that includes all of the reports information, Nowak said.

• Approved, 6-0, a $4,435 bid from Sirchie Fingerprint Laboratories for Craig Police Department evidence cabinets. It was the low bid submitted.

If local government shows enough interest, a natural gas fueling station for cars and trucks could be built in Moffat County.

Aron Diaz, executive director for the regional lobby group Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, visited the Moffat County Commission and Craig City Council meetings Tuesday to let officials know they could soon hear from companies interested in the project.

“There are fuel stations all around us, in Utah and Wyoming, and all through the American southwest,” Diaz said. “But if you look at a map, Western Colorado is a big, gaping hole.”

Diaz said it seems like the region would be a natural fit because natural gas is produced here, and it’s a primary transportation corridor for heavy truck traffic.

But a combination liquid/compressed natural gas fueling station costs about $2 million to build.

In light of that, companies want to feel comfortable there will be enough local demand to make building a station economically viable, Diaz said. One way local government could help is by converting some of its vehicle fleets to natural gas-burning engines.

Mayor Don Jones said building natural gas pumps in Northwest Colorado would be a natural fit, but he didn’t know if natural gas engines would be best for the city.

“If I remember right, in the sixties and seventies, the city had propane-powered and natural gas-powered vehicles,” he said. “But the price went up, and the power wasn’t the same as what you’d get out of a diesel engine, it didn’t meet the needs, so everyone reverted back.”

Still, if the technology has improved, it would be worth investigating, the mayor added.

Diaz said the companies he has spoken with want to get started fast to take advantage of state and federal tax credits before they sunset. The credits make it cheap to convert an existing engine to natural gas, and in some cases may result in a net profit for whoever owned the vehicle.

Using natural gas also would cost about 50 cents a gallon less than traditional fuels, Diaz added.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com.


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