Legislative committee says UW natural gas station plan should go public

Jan 19, 2012

A legislative committee has high hopes for the University of Wyoming’s proposed natural gas pump station.

U-W President Tom Buchanan asked the Joint Appropriations Committee for $1 million dollars to convert several university vehicles to run on natural gas, and to build a natural gas filling station in Laramie. He said the station would be open to university and state vehicles but not to the public.

JAC chairman Phil Nicholas says it would be better if the station were open to the public, like En Cana’s natural gas station in Riverton, because it would promote Wyoming’s economy and diminish dependence on foreign oil.

Sen. Michael Von Flatern agreed, adding that running vehicles on natural gas would save the state money once the equipment is paid for.

"What we’re really trying to do as a state and why I can justify in my mind putting into this, is we’re trying to promote our natural gas and until you get a demand, nobody’s gonna pour any money into it, so we need to create a demand. We get severance tax out of it, we can actually run our vehicles on less money. It all comes in and plays well for us."

The JAC begins marking its 2013-14 budget on Monday