Columbia aims to bring natural gas to residents

Apr 30, 2012

Columbia could be the next city in Missouri to bring natural gas fuel to residents.  The city is also considering purchasing new natural-gas-powered garbage trucks.

The purchase of these trucks could lead to the establishment of a natural gas fuel station in Columbia. City fleet operations manager Eric Evans says that move can create a natural gas corridor between St. Louis and Kansas City. 

“This would allow or give the sufficient range for these vehicles to be able to traverse across the state of Missouri on I-70 using compressed natural gas,” Evans said.

Evans says natural gas is a dollar or more cheaper than the current price of a gallon of either diesel or gasoline. Kansas City has had compressed natural gas stations since 1996. That city’s fleet administrator Sam Swearngin says natural gas produces less exhaust which can contribute to a cleaner environment.

“It would be really, it would be a really good thing if Columbia with Kansas City and St. Louis would put public stations in to where we could get this network installed and start using a domestic fuel, a cleaner domestic fuel,” Swearngin said.

Swearngin says one of the biggest obstacles for cities trying to adapt to this fuel is high cost of natural gas tanks.