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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney touts green energy, energy conservation in visit to Norwich Public Utilities Natural Gas Fueling Station

August 18, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney today visited Norwich Public Utilities’ (NPU) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station to discuss investment in green energy – one of the three legs of his three-point plan to reduce gas prices. NPU personnel demonstrated how the fueling station operated as well as the benefits of natural gas as an alternative to petroleum gasoline.

“With gas prices at a national high right here in Connecticut, addressing this problem is critical,” said Congressman Joe Courtney. “There are no ‘silver bullets’ that will fix all our energy challenges overnight, but at places like NPU, there are innovators and new ideas that prove we can tackle this problem. Ultimately, our response needs to be comprehensive and forward-looking, focused not just on green energy, but on reining in speculators and increasing responsible domestic production, as well.”

Since NPU built their CNG fueling station in 1997, they have been able to displace over 289,000 gallons of gasoline they would have otherwise used. That translates into over 1,300 barrels of crude oil per year. NPU currently deploys the largest, municipal Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) fleet in Connecticut.

“We have made a commitment to alternative fuels for one reason: it’s good for Norwich,” said Mark Greene, NPU’s Operations Integrity Manager. “Natural gas is a clean, domestic, and cost effective fuel source. It makes a lot of sense for us to use it and to encourage others to use it as well.”

The environmental benefits were also a deciding factor for NPU. Natural gas powered vehicles emit significantly fewer pollutants than those that are powered by diesel fuel. Those pollutants include nitrous oxide, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.

CNG fuel is more cost effective than petroleum based fuels as well. Natural gas purchased at the NPU fueling station costs $2.34 per gallon of gasoline equivalent. NPU has made this station available, 24/7, to anyone in the area who decides to use natural gas as a fuel source.